Vetoes ain't a durn thang *clears throat and spits*
Whatever your politics, it is cautionary to discover that the current U.S. president has set a modern era record: He has gone five years without issuing a single veto. That has come, of course, despite ballooning twin deficits and a Congress that never met a barrel it didn’t want to stuff with pork.
This quote is especially illustrative of his unusual collaboration with Congress:
On many major bills that Bush has signed - No Child Left Behind and tax relief, for example - the veto was never a consideration because the White House itself had proposed the legislation. Yet on dozens of other bills, the president has become a rubber stamp for a spendthrift Congress, betraying his campaign image as a fiscal conservative, critics say.
By way of comparison, here are some former presidents and their veto records (all from CS Monitor):
Book Signing with Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Johnson
So I attended a book signing by Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Johnson who spearheaded the discussion together at the Strand Bookstore. I got there a little early so I was able to snag a front row seat with the two luminaries. First of all, I have to say Steve Johnson has an uncanny resemblance to "Chandler" from the TV show friends, playe by the actor Matthew Perry. He doesn't quite have the acerbic wit natural to Matthew Perry, but he's certainly a smart guy and could do a crack impression if ever asked.
Secondly, Malcolm Gladwell has the most glorious fro on the face of this earth. He even combs it behind his ears, the most pliant shock of curls to grace this wonderful city.
So I attended with a friend who couldn't make it to the front so I had a lovely arm rest most of the time. It was a very good talk.
Steve Johnson, author of "everything bad for you is good for you" expounded on the premise of this book. His theory that collateral learning, not focused content orientated or explicit learning - a by product of the internet age- has resulted in smarter sharper people and students today. The reason is that with the evolution of video gaming, the internet, and email, has created a framework for systemic learning where pattern recognition and inference skills are practiced and honed in informal settings.
I also got Blink, signed by Malcolm Gladwell, was pretty awesome.
Once again, both authors freely admit they don't offer any solutions, just provoking new proceses to view the world, and in my case business processes or organizations. At the same time, they also freely admit their books aren't meant to be complete theories, rather they are like dangling particples - to completed by readers who question and ruminate.
Stabbings, Pizza, and Opium
So this is part II of my blogging series on my trip to Miami. If you're squeamish you might not wanna read it...but honestly it ain't too bad. Good times, good times.
[21:45] elbagrl: so tell me about the stabbing
[21:45] RBKennethHuynh: ah
[21:45] RBKennethHuynh: its long
[21:46] RBKennethHuynh: So its gabe me and this guy named Luis, we'd just come from a club called Opium where we free bottle service courtesy of one of their frat brother's who's a promoter...its actually interesting because security, bartenders, bouncers, all of them were frat brothers to these guys so we got hooked up - this place was where P Diddy threw his birthday in miami
[21:47] elbagrl: mhm
[21:47] RBKennethHuynh: We decide to hit South Beach for some late night sobering up pizza at a joint called "Pizza Rustica", a famous place down the street from that hotel in Scarface where tony Montana's buddy gets hacked to death by a chainsaw wielding columbian
[21:48] RBKennethHuynh: We are all SOO far gone, it was amazing Luis could pull up to the joint. We order the pizzas and sit outside next to our car Reggaeton blaring...there's also outdoor seating where there's this blonde that looks like marilyn monroe sitting down. Gabe and I start chatting with her
[21:48] RBKennethHuynh: All of a sudden a group of Latin homeboys come stumbling over to where we are sitting
[21:49] RBKennethHuynh: Three are noticeably covered in blood from head to toe, one is hyperventilating and holding his lower left side...he stumbles on the chair and I see his stomach is gushing blood and he's turning green
[21:50] RBKennethHuynh: As this is going on, mind you, Marilyn Monroe hands us a business card...I walk over to see whatsup with homeboy....but gabe takes a look at it....it says "Adult Entertainment"....she had been winking the entire time noticeably and was talking about "some good hotels nearby"....lol
[21:50] RBKennethHuynh: Gabe and I call 911 and I talk to the homeboys
[21:50] RBKennethHuynh: turns out they were at a hip hop club and this guy was stabbed by some thug who was pretending to be his friend.
[21:51] RBKennethHuynh: So here we are calling 911, as this guy bleeds to death, getting a business card from a street hooker on South Beach.
[21:51] RBKennethHuynh: We finish up our pizza, hop in Luis's BMW and take off....calling it a night
[21:51] elbagrl: okie so you didn't actually see the stabbing
[21:52] elbagrl: just the bloodied aftermath
[21:52] elbagrl: still pretty gross man.
[21:52] elbagrl: yuck.
[21:52] RBKennethHuynh: yeah, but we didn't really realize what was happening until we drove back and thought about it
[21:53] RBKennethHuynh: when we did, in our drunken haze, we laughed for a very long time...which was shocking now that i think about...i blame the free bottle of vodka
Bienvenidos a Miami
Ok, so I admit it. I'm a flake. Initially, I was all inspired about opening a blogger account and ripping open and exposing the contents of my skull and revealing my experiences, turmoils, and tribulations for the average surreptitious blog-reading lurker. But the reason is really that I'm afraid, and frankly, I've been MAD lazy. Its stupid. But today, I have so much to write about I've decided to emerge from my lazy-bastard tendencies and reticence and promise to myself I'd blog more - simply for myself.
The big news, I just got back from a weekend trip to Miami. That's right, instead of hoarding up those personal days at work forfear of appearing like a slacker to the pulsating brain at work, I took 2 days, just for me. My roommate, although he had been minorly annoying in the month leading up to the trip, mostly because of cleaning issues, despite that he really came through and I like him like a brother, more now than I ever. He's got the mad hookups,and it ain't the hookup to the Miami McD's, and was just an overall good guy. You're props to you buddy. He and his friends treated me like their own.
After a relatively uneventful flight lasting 2 and 1/2 hours (a little longer than I thought it'd be because I'm sometimes a noodle brained ebola monkey who thinks flights should be no longer than one hour when in the same time-zone), we arrived from mundane Queens trappings of LaGuardia to balmy Ft. Lauderdale on a flight costing $125 - yes it was $125
, go to Spirit Airlines. But his friend Kris rolls up in a Volkswagon Beatle though, which invoked an almost openly exclaimed "WTF?". Kris is a character. He's an pharmaceutical entrepreneur with a jokester personality which, honestly can be grating sometimes. But he's got mad personality, model good looks, and he knows how to ball. These facts, for obvious reasons, were being trampled on by the mere fact that he rolls up to pick up two pretty thick and decent sized dudes with two pieces of luggage in a farkin Volkswagen Beatle!
. What happened to the BMW X5 dawg?
Turns out it was his girl's Beatle, which immediately ameliorated my concern that I'd be bouncing from hot Miami club to club in a car that comes stock with a flower pot. The X5 was in the shop for air conditioning work, so the next day, after "talking business", we'd roll over to the shop and pick it up.
Miami is different, and beautiful. Palm trees, unlike in LA, are native to South Florida. So they're abundant, towering, and on every freeway. Another thing, its ridiculously humid and pretty hot. The weather is always above 75. In fact when it gets to 70 in January, people step out of their houses, curse the old man winter for his crustiness, and put on a sweater........ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
MAN, I'd literally kick someone else's dog to get consistent 70 degree weather in the winter time. I guess the tradeoff is your summer's in Miami are a combination of flash thunderstorms, unbearable humidity, flooding, and a relentless smiling sunshine. Hence people wear little to nothing and have beautifully clean and tan skin from mid-march to October. The water is immaculate, clear bluish green, and it looks clean. It definitely helps that most of the people in Miami, lets just say, tan very well.
So we cram into the mint-case and jet over to his place, but before that we stop by the Aventura Mall for a little Pollo Tropical
...money. Tasty chopped chicken with a cuban ranch sauce with brown rice, beans, and salad. Definitley hit the spot after knocking out on the plane with my yawning jaw sucking in dry, sterile, sedative infused cabin air for 2 and a 1/2 hours.
The first night there was definitely an adventure which I'll post about tomorrow.