Monday, August 29, 2005

Summer in Review (and Politics too)

It’s good to be back on campus and writing for 1832 after a long, yet amazing, summer spent in central Florida, Las Vegas, Chicago, Milwaukee’s beautiful Corner Bar, the Metrodome watching the Twins desperately attempt to catch the White Sox, and (mostly) a cubicle at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.

As you might be able to tell, I spent a great deal of time traveling this summer, including a weekend trip to Florida’s coast in early July. Before returning my rental car to Orlando’s sprawling airport, I took the last exit off of the turnpike and desperately attempted to find a gas station, in hopes of avoiding the $4.99 per gallon refill fee that the company crazy enough to rent me a silver Focus promised to impose. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a Chevron, which I gladly decided to patronize. Maybe it should have seemed weird that their prices weren’t posted alongside the road, but I was late for my flight and had other things on my mind. So imagine my surprise when I walked up to the pump and noticed that the going rate was $2.85 per gallon, a full $0.50 more than gas everywhere else in Florida at the time. I chalked this up to the fact that tourists would rather pay this than the exorbitant refueling fees, swallowed my pride, and paid around $24 to top off my average Detroit machinery with eight regular gallons, relieved that I would never have to pay that much for gas again.

Well, I spoke too soon, and found myself paying exactly that much just last week, at my neighborhood gas station in a Twin Cities suburb. I mentioned this to my ardently Republican grandmother, who said “That’s outrageous! Something has to be done about this, now” in her annoyed Tex-Italian accent, which sounds something like a cross between the voices of Renee Zellweger and Tony Montana. Anyway, when she said that, I cracked a bit of a smile, and asked her a simple question – “What did you expect?”

The current administration is ridiculously friendly with America’s large oil companies, providing them with two direct sources of higher income. On one hand, they champion causes like the war in Iraq that create serious demand (therefore raising prices) for gasoline and other petroleum-based products supplied by these corporations. At the same time, they offer gigantic subsidies and grants to the same organizations. One of the most recent examples of this is the $1.5 billion in potential money provided to oil and gas businesses that engage in (perhaps intentionally) loosely-worded “innovative exploration and production techniques”.


Of course, in typical short-sighted fashion, Bush’s administration has neglected the largely negative effects of these actions to industries that are benefited by the availability of cheap oil. The biggest example is America’s automobile sector. The three largest conglomerates have all resorted to “employee pricing deals” this summer in an effort to stimulate demand for their largely fuel-inefficient flock of vehicles. And this probably deserves (and probably will get) an entire topic in the future, but the US airline industry is a complete wreck as a result of the constantly increasing prices of gasoline. Looks like we got what a tiny majority of us asked for after all.

Murphy's is named Playboy's College Bar of the Month

I'm sure this made Father Wild's Day:

Hoops and beer have been two of the biggest pastimes for Marquette University students since legendary basketball coach Al McGuire first patrolled the sidelines in the '70s. Both passions come together at Murphy's Irish Pub, conveniently located just one block from Marquette's urban campus in Milwaukee and a little less than two miles from the Miller brewery.

The Scene: Murphy's unspectacular but spacious interior can accommodate plenty of thirsty students who go there to catch a game on one of the five televisions, play pool on the red velvet tables, down a few pitchers or do all three. "It's a friendly bar with a nice atmosphere," says Nick, a senior accounting major.

Above the long bar hang roughly 200 numbered mugs which students can lease for $15 a semester, making them members of the Mug Club. With $10 bottomless mug nights on Tuesdays, membership has its advantages. "It's good to have a bar with your own mug in it," explains Griff, a senior finance major. "Mine is number three."

Girls at the Bar: "The girls in here put the 'sin' in Wisconsin," says Adam, a recent education graduate. The talent level at Murphy's is impressive, and most Marquette girls can drink any West Coast Barbie doll under the table. "You see some pretty faces," says Joe, a senior business administration major. "Most college students would be happy here."

Click Here to Read the Rest of the Stroy from Playboy.com

1832's Summer in Review: Part II

The “Gang of 14” and the famed “Nuclear-Option”

Thank God for Republican Senators McCain, Graham, Warner, Snowe, Collins, DeWine, Chafee, and Democrat Senators Lieberman, Byrd, Nelson, Landrieu, Inouye, Pryor, and Salazar for negotiating a successful compromise to avoid the deployment of the so-called “nuclear option” to put an end to filibustering judicial nominees in the Senate, which proved once again that the most boring debate topic ever is infact debating Roberts Rules of Order.

The London Terrorist Attacks

Images of 9/11 came right back to my mind when this happened. 1832’s thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of these horrible terrorist acts. America stands with Great Britain.

President Bush nominates Roberts to replace O’Conner

I have to hand it to President Bush and/or Karl Rove for this sly move. Blocking Roberts is going to be next to impossible and NARAL with their dirty, fictitious attack ad on Roberts probably killed any credibility any future attacks on Roberts will have. As dumb as Bush and Rove and Co. have been on a variety of other issues this summer, this was a move where the Republicans have clearly outplayed the Democrats.

We care more about missing children that go missing in other countries than the thousands that go missing in our own.

I feel for missing teenager Natalee Holloway’s family and friends and I hope that she is found, however, I don't understand why this story has gotten soo much media attention. According to the FBI about 2,100 children are reported missing a day to law enforcement IN THIS COUNTRY. Certainly not all of these cases that are reported to police turn out to as serious as Natalee Holloway’s case, but why aren’t we hearing about them all summer long?

I hate Tom Cruise.

He stole my future wife. Katie Holmes, when you come to your senses go with your dad on a Marquette Alumni event and give me a call.

Cindy Sheenan proves just how shallow the right-wing is.

The woman lost her son, who served our country, and the right, including GOP3.com, launches a dirty personal attack on her just because she doesn’t share their viewpoint on the war in Iraq. I can’t think of anything more disgusting.

Part III later this week.

Friday, August 26, 2005

1832's Summer in Review: Part I

Welcome back to 1832! Just because 1832 took a break over the summer to travel, drink, party, and enjoy the summer sun, doesn’t mean that the Summer of 2005 wasn’t a summer worth commenting on. Here is Part I of 1832’s thoughts on some of the major news events of the summer (in no particular order):

Mark Felt is Deep Throat
Darn and all this time I believed that the blonde girl from Dawson’s Creek was Deep Throat. One question though: How can Pat Buchanan and the right wing seriously refer to Mark Felt, who leaked information regarding the CRIMINAL activities of the Nixon White House, but continues to defend and come up with excuses for Vice President Dick Cheney’s leaking the name of a CIA operative?

The Republican version of “crying wolf” is to cry, “VOTER FRAUD!”
I’m thinking about starting a pool on when Brain Collar of GOP3.com writes another blog entry about how he witnessed, first hand, massive voter fraud in Milwaukee during the 2004 election, despite the fact that the U.S. Attorney’s office investigation into the GOP claims, has concluded that no such cases occurred and were in fact “clerical errors”.

The NCAA is dumber than the Marquette Board of Trustees.
Just when you thought the Marquette “GOLD” was the dumbest thing you ever heard of, the NCAA decides to enter the nickname stupidity contest with its own asinine decision (which actually isn’t that surprising…. I don’t think the NCAA can go more than a month without doing something stupid).

Never, ever, tell a girl she is fat. Not even when being fat might KILL HER.
When a doctor can’t even say it you know the women in this country have completely lost it. On that note, here is a bit of advice to the freshman girls of Cobeen: BEWARE THE ICE CREAM BAR.

The National League West Stinks
They all really really suck. I’d place a million dollar bet that the St. Louis Cardinals could beat an NL West All-Star Team. Heck the best two baseball teams in the Western part of the United States are the Little League World Series teams from Hawaii and California

Pat Robertson has a different bible than the rest of us.
Really what is the difference between him and some Islamic fundamentalist calling for a Jihad on the United States?

When Republicans get angry, they show it by walking off and turning off microphones.
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner gave Daily Show host John Stewart material for a month, only to be topped by Robert Novak’s outburst on CNN.

President Bush and I have something in common: We love Vacations.
I think he likes them more though. I find it amazing that he has already taken more vacation time than any other two-term President in history.

Be on the lookout for Part II later this weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

1832 to return this Friday

1832 will return this Friday as bloggers return to campus.