washington archives

July 2, 2004

Finding their religion

Steve Waldman, who has written a really interesting book about the formation of AmeriCorps, writes an interesting article in Slate today about the religion gap - more specifically about Kerry's religion quandry. When I saw the article this morning, I told Nicole that "Waldman wrote my article." I've been thinking a lot lately about the "religion gap" in the election, but the urban church is a huge fishbone stuck in throat of that idea. This article touches on it a bit.

The religion gap, as defined by USA Today is tied more to periodicity of service attendance - the more you attend, the more conservative you vote. In the Slate article, Waldman rightly points out that such a measure, though many want it to, does not relegate wacky zealots or level-headed faithful to one side of the aisle.

Oh, but how we do grasp and grasp for ways to force a brother to take sides. Don't get me wrong, taking sides is an important art, but why does it always seem that the lines drawn in the national sand are always running the wrong direction.

The President's campaign is also in the news today with regards religion. Not a very clever move on the campaign's part.

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May 8, 2004

The last train to washington

This week began as most have for the past five months - on a train at 5:30 in the morning. This week ended as most have for the past five months - on a train at 5:30 in the evening. I like trains, but not that much and I'm very glad that this will be my last two train weekend for a while.guy.

I'm on the train now, crossing what I think is the Susquhanna River, trying to think of a pithy way to recount my week. Nicole is working feverishly to wrap up her third and final paper - The Comparative Morphology of the Hyoid - before I get to the station at 8:50. Mom and Dad are somewhere on I-68 heading east. Beth, my oldest sister, is hanging out over at her neighbor's house in DC. Ruthie, my middle sister, is getting ready to go see a movie with some friends. Catie, my youngest sister, is out at a little horse farm near Columbus giving riding lessons to little girls. I guess it's a pretty rare thing that I know where my entire family is at any given time.

My bike gave me troubles all week. I've had three flat tires on my new rear wheel. I've checked the rim strips for uncovered spokes, checked the tire for errant objects and tried three different air pressures. Nadda. So my bike is sitting in the TRL props room with a thouroughly flat tire. I just can't imagine what it is that brought this spata-flats along.

I spoke with the County of Ventura - nice people those Venturites - about getting a marriage license. Seems pretty straight forward. Showing up is 80% of the job - Woody Allen would be glad. I didn't intend any dark joke about Mr. Allen's married life (lives) but I suppose I could take credit for anything you are inferring.

Well, Baltimore is outside my window. Time to pack it up and call it a week - the last train week.

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May 2, 2004

This weekend's train

I did the usual Friday afternoon routine today. Skip lunch, get my work down, grab my bags, hustle through rush hour traffic down to Penn Station and catch the earliest train possible down to Washington. If the week hasn't been enough for me already, by the time I get on the train my head is generally thumping and I just wanna sleep for a few hours.

Unfortunately, the Friday evening rush hour trains to DC are normally oversold and people have to sit in the aisles and in the little space between the cars. If you get there early enough to get a seat, you have to try to relax next to a total stranger for three hours. I can think of more pleasant circumstances under which to catch up on a little sleep.

But it wasn't to be that way this evening. I had the usual week, the usual Friday, the usual hustle to the train station, the usual last minute catching of the train. But I shuffled down the aisle-way of the train - eyes half shut - I head someway say "Leimbach". I knew that bark: Wagner. He had a seat for me.

It had totally slipped my mind that Ben had told me he was heading down to Philly for a show and a ten miler. We talked a little about work a little about Coffee and Cigarettes and a little about this and that. I can't tell you what a difference it makes to be tired on a train with a friend sittin' next to you.

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February 5, 2004

The most straight talk ever to come out of washington

I never expect much, and generally dread having to read a speech given by a talking head from Washington. But I must confess that reading George Tenet's intellegence de-brief to a group of Georgetown students was really satisfying. No really. I went away less confused than when I started. Check it out.

If you want a good Cliff Notes version hit the NY Times whose piece hit all the bases and a few typos to boot.

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