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Category — Obama

More to Come…

September 13, 2012   Comments Off

Obama in Burlington

Obama is coming to Burlington today.  By the time I’d learned about the visit, all of the affordable tickets were sold out.  I feel a little bad that my kids won’t go, but I don’t really care for myself.  I met Bill Clinton when he came.  How many presidents is somebody supposed to meet in a lifetime?  One’s probably good enough.  It is a little weird Obama won’t be meeting anyone for free.  Maybe that will turn out to be wrong.  I will vote for Barack Obama in the general election in November, unless Ron Paul somehow becomes the Republican nominee.

I hope Ed Adrian gets a good picture today.  Good luck Ed.

March 30, 2012   2 Comments

Presidential Last Names

Of the 43 men who have served as president, 36 had names that ended with a consonant. 21 had last names that end in what I would consider hard consonants (N, T and K). 16 had last names that end in “n.” 4 had last names that end in “e.” 2 with “y.” 1 whose name ends with “a.”  

America didn’t even venture into “y” territory until the tail-end of the nineteenth century. 

“Y” isn’t a pure vowel, and in none of the cases is “e” phonetically distinguishable.  This makes the last name ending in “a” rare and special among presidential last names.  It’s an open sound that can go on and on: “aaaaaaaaah,” whereas with a name like Reagan, Washington, or Polk, you know darn well the name is said and done-with because it’s punctuated with that hard consonant sound you can only get by closing up part of your airway.

February 23, 2012   Comments Off

Obama’s Challenge II

Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:50 PM

Hi Philip,

How’s it going?  Jeanne mentioned there might be a bill in your senate committee that takes up the allowed dropout age.  I’m in favor of not allowing kids to drop out.  I did a short post on it  Got anything I can add to it and attribute to you about this bill Jeanne mentioned, should it exist?


Friday, January 27, 2012 8:19 AM


Good to hear from you — I keep checking Burlingtonpol for breaking gossip on the mayor’s race, but you seem stubbornly fixated on performing the job the voters elected you to do . . . but what about my needs? A photo of Kurt kicking a puppy, or Miro pushing an old woman down a service elevator when he thinks no one’s looking?  Enquiring minds want to know . . . because you’re the only one who does Burlington in HD.

We do have this bill, and we heard testimony all of yesterday.  Everyone we talked to — the reps for the teachers, the school boards, the principals, the literacy advocates, higher ed, everyone with a stake in educating kids and eliminating the drop-out rate altogether — thinks the idea is powerful and very worth pursuing.  New Hampshire made this change not too long ago.  But NH also dropped about $6 million into robust new retention programs over the last three or four years — because if you suddenly close the legal drop-out door to a small but resource-intensive population, you need to think really carefully about their needs, and the needs of the kids who would now be sharing classroom space with them for an additional two years. So like everything, it’s money.  If we make this move, it costs — just like expanding pre-K or early college programs.  And in this environment (Post-Irene, Great Recession) fists are tight.  My bottom line?  We created the land-grant college system during the Civil War.  We can do this now, if it’s the right thing to do.  And more and more I think it is.

Feel free to use any or none of that rant . . . and I’ll see you soon.


January 27, 2012   Comments Off

Obama’s Challenge

My ears perked up a bit when I heard Obama challenge the states not to let kids drop out of school until age 18.  I think that’s a wise idea.  Right now in Vermont it’s 16.  Now one could argue that raising the no-dropouts threshold to the age of majority limits freedom, but to that I’d say then that we already limit the freedoms of children in many other ways, in particular forcing them to go to school until they’re at least 16.  Dropping out of school before graduating your period of free-to-you, government-sponsored education (ie k-12) is bad for you and bad for society.  Bad for you because you will be less employable, and bad for society because you will be less employable.  It’s a waste of the investment.  If we love our kids we shouldn’t let them drop out of school!  It’s the installation of rigor at an early age that sets the path for a person’s success in life, and a nation is only as good as the people in it.  We need an America Built to Last!  I’m going to bring this up at the next school board policy committee meeting, but I’m not sure a school board policy would supersede state law…  Is there a bill about this in the VT senate now?  The superintendent mentioned there might be…

January 26, 2012   Comments Off

My personal Web Log

Sometimes I just need to write, and I have to remind myself that it’s ok to do that here at BurlingtonPol. I don’t always have to have a news story or an interview to publish. Although I did interview Bram Kranichfeld Sunday. I have to transcribe that. I obviously understand this blog’s niche. It’s Burlington politics. But that doesn’t mean it’s not also my own personal web log. I just want to talk into the microphone.

I’d like to be reporting about the ward 4/7 democratic debate but I was too sick today to go. Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, etc. I took a sick day. Got hot chocolate with my daughter and slept for about three hours. Then I woke up and went to a special school board executive session Jeanne called about a personnel issue. That made me cranky. It was an hour long meeting and I don’t really know much more than I knew before it. She says ‘so-and-so’ may have ‘such-and-such’ and when somebody asks ‘such-and-such like what?’ She says she won’t tell us. Well, we’re the school board aren’t we? We’re in executive session right now instead of sleeping off our colds, aren’t we? You work for us, don’t you?

Yeah right? Oh… Obama’s coming up on Leno. I’m going to vote for Obama again. No question. His race has nothing to do with it. I think his performance has been good. Not perfect, but good.

So I don’t know how the three Dems and Tim Ashe did at the Wards 4/7 “forum” tonight. Somebody write or comment and let me know. I do know the thing was not supposed to be a debate, but I call it that anyway. From the invitation to the candidates from the moderator…

‘Hi Miro, Jason, Bram, and Tim…The forum on the 25th will be similar to the one at Champlain School…et cetera, et cetera…The Forum will take place in the gym at the Miller Center starting at 7:00…etc, etc…We’ll have a moderator and time…etc, etc…After the prepared questions we’ll have questions from the audience…etc…There will be no debate or rebuttals, but candidates should be ready to emphasize and clarify how their points of view differ from the others. I want to keep argument at a minimum to preserve the amicable feeling tone of all the Democrats’ campaigns, as the winner of the caucus should feel free to call upon any of the other candidates for support and help in the election campaign in the future…Closing statements and summaries, et cetera…’ (emphasis added)

That’s a curious judgment isn’t it? That the winner should “feel free” to call upon “any” of the other candiates?  I asked Tim Ashe twice if he didn’t win the Dem nomination and the progs nominate Bob, whom would he support, the Dem or Bob?  And he wouldn’t answer me.

Obama did great on Leno.  I’m going to bed.

October 26, 2011   8 Comments

Fair Game

Shay’s Fair Game from 12.15.10 and 12.08.10

Senator Tim Ashe on running for mayor:

“I am hoping to play a big role in my second term,” said Ashe. “I’d have to be a total jerk to be talking about another office or election. Particularly one that is so far away.”

Obama was talking about running for president two years before November 2008.   I don’t think that necessarily makes him a jerk at all, let alone a “total” jerk.  I’m curious to know which nomination Tim Ashe would seek.  Progressive or Democratic?  As far as I know there is no “fusion” primary.  Whatever.  New Poll.  One vote per computer per month this time.  Not scientific, but just to tend slightly more toward science, I’ll ask that only likely Burlington voters participate.  Thanks.  Now let’s get it on!  (Ding Ding)  

For Mayor (Choose One):
Kurt Wright
Joan Shannon
Ed Adrian
Karen Paul
Tim Ashe
David Hartnett
Haik Bedrosian
Bob Kiss
Hinda Miller
Andy Montroll
Free polls from

December 19, 2010   8 Comments

Al and Tipper Gore

Did I ever tell you about the one time I met Tipper Gore?  It was at UVM, in 92 I guess.  It went something like- I asked her what I thought to be a smart question and she squawked back at me something like ‘environment, environment, environment, Grateful Dead, environment, environment…’  totally unrelated to my question.  I thought it was odd at the time, but now that I’m older it actually makes sense.

I got to meet one of their daughters one time too, but I can’t remember which.  She was on the Waterfront in Burlington.  She was nice.  Shook hands will Al twice too but never spoke to him.  Voted for him but didn’t work for him.  I felt I learned a lesson from that so I worked for Dean in 2004.  He lost.  Then I didn’t work for Obama and he won.  So what does that tell you?  Nothing.  It’s hard to know facts or learn lessons in the universe, and politics is a dismal science.

But the point of this post is that has been getting mad traffic in the last couple of days and I just figured out why.  They’re all arriving at this post via Google Images because of the old photo-booth picture of Al and Tipper Gore I have there.  See it down there on the left sidebar?  It’s cute.

Anyway yesterday my blog welcomed 431 visitors from all over the place, which makes it my second biggest day on record- except perhaps for the day CNN linked here.  I think that day was huge but I don’t remember the numbers.  The top day I’m sure of the number for was the day Bob Kiss was re-elected.  On that day I had 499 visitors.

I guess word on the street are that Al and Tipper are officially separating, which may be what sparked the mad rush for such a picture.  What are my thoughts on their separation you ask?  Well I don’t know.  Who cares?  Good for them, I guess.

Yeah I know.  You didn’t ask.

June 2, 2010   Comments Off

Post 917

* I did this for the title before on post 821.

* Check out by Owen Mulligan.

Here’s a .pdf file of Tomorrow Night’s Special City Council Meeting Agenda. Item number 3 on the deliberative agenda is a public forum on the proposed charter change regarding the elimination of Instant Runoff Voting.

*Awesome Blog by Lea Terhune about the goings on of the Wards 4&7 NPA at North End Neighborhood Planning Assembly. It’s pretty cutting edge to drop the superfluous “New” and go with just “North End.”

*H.A.N.D.S. (Helping and Nurturing Diverse Seniors) Is a community group whose mission is ” to provide social and nutritional opportunities for older adults and their families.”

*Can anybody explain how the relativity of simultaneity might somehow cancel out the observer effect? Because I can’t.

*Are Kevin Curley and Kurt Wright both going to be on the ballot in Ward Four?

*My wife likes Also, she will sometimes give a length of her hair to help make a wig for a cancer patient.

If you haven’t donated a dime to help Haiti, then I’m disappointed in you. Turn your life around by donating to

*The State of The Union. Obama’s first State of the Union was excellent. I think he is a very decent man.

January 28, 2010   4 Comments

The Obamas’ Birth Control

I wonder what Barack and Michelle Obama use for birth control. Think he’s snipped? It appears they made a conscious choice to stop at two kids. Kinda weird how the last three presidents have spawned only daughters. And the last president to spawn sons lived to see one of them also become president. Sasha and Malia. Those are ok names I guess. “Malia” is a little weird because of the prefix “mal.” but it’s also awfully close to my sister’s name “Amalia” which I consider totally beautiful. Maybe Michelle is on the pill, or she’s had her tubes tied. Why has the media never talked about this? Is it because of some latent, collective puritan ethic? Oh that again. Wikipedia says “Sasha is also the first White House resident born in the 21st century.” Michelle is only 45. The NIH says “The average age of a woman having her last period, menopause, is 51.” The president himself is 48 but as we all know men can reproduce forever. My father is over 100 years old and he could still get you pregnant. Here’s an interesting discussion thread about marital disagreement over how many kids to have.

November 8, 2009   5 Comments