He Came, He Ran, He Kicked Some Ass!

runner.jpgLeaf Peepers 2007 in Stowe is perhaps the best possible setting for a personal best at a half-marathon. A beautiful out-and-back course, partly on gravel, great time of year: not too warm, not too cold, peak fitness, well organized event… And so, I did. 1:35:07 is a pretty good time for a guy who only a few years ago hated the concept of running and would have denied ever so much as trying a half marathon. I’ve since given up on the triathlons that got me started on running, but now I’m completely addicted to that side of personal challenges.

I may never become the fastest or most graceful runner out there (fat chance, old man!) but I’m loving it. So far, the knees, ankles, tendons and all the other stuff that can go kablooie on runners has held up, and I’m using the runs as cross-training for biking and cross-country skiing.

2008 will have me doing another Covered Bridges Half Marathon in early June, and probably another crack at both Leaf Peepers in September and the ChAD Outrun The Sun in August. Secretly, I’d like to think I could break 1:30 at least at the end of the season (top 10 in my age group would still require something like 1:22 or so, which is never happening), but realistically I don’t think I’ve got it in me to train that hard…

With Friends Like These…

zot.gifWhee. The Democratic contenders for the throne came and went last night; Dartmouth College — in all its Ivy aloofness — played host to the debate between all eight (quick! name ’em all… I dare you). And, largely, they’re just such a pitiful bunch. Hillary was fresh off her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment to the defense bill that basically declares war on Iran (great way to show us how you’re really regretting your vote in support of the Iraq war, lady!), a vote that Obama conveniently missed — just like he missed the unpleasant and controversial votes earlier this week that would have spelled out his position on things like the First Amendment and habeas corpus. What a lame little sucker he’s turning out to be, but then of course, you could’ve expected little else from a freshman senator who chose Joe Lieberman as his mentor when he entered Congress.

According to my wife (who went and oggled the debate in person) the only truly visionaries were Kucinich and Gravel — both outsiders that are allowed in largely for the entertainment factor. What a shame that they’re the ones that actually have, you know, ideas and policies that might actually make a difference, while Hillary, Obama and Edwards have polished, focus-grouped talking points and absolutely zero courage or conviction.

Peter Welch Votes to Condemn Moveon?

wtf3.jpgUh… Peter? Seriously, there are really only two scenarios I can think of here: 1) you weren’t paying attention when the vote was called, and you thought the issue at hand was something most excellent like “free healthcare for all kids”; or 2) you were paying attention and you deliberately voted “yes” to condemn MoveOn’s PAC for running the Betrayus ad in the New York Times.

Either one reflects poorly on you.

If you were simply asleep at the wheel then wake the hell up; Rome is burning and y’all appear to be playing with yourselves down there in DC. The Democrats didn’t get a majority last time so a bunch of clueless newbies could prove how incredibly badly the party still sucks after so many years in the wilderness. Shape up, or come back to Vermont and we’ll send someone competent in your place next time.

But. If you actually voted to condemn the MoveOn ad, then you’ve really been smoking too much of the Beltway weed. You’re supposed to protect the First Amendment, remember? The one about protecting free speech? There’s no sub-clause that says anything about “except calling out the commander-in-chief’s lying lackeys for their dismal performance and lethally deceptive inability to face the facts.” Really, I’ve checked. It doesn’t say anything about a ban on pointing out loudly and clearly that Petraeus is a petty enabler of the worst foreign policy blunder, like, ever. And since you and the rest of your colleagues seem to have such a hard time doing anything useful about our sorry state of affairs, it was entirely appropriate that MoveOn showed the courage you so lamentably lack.

Alas, when the Administration badly needed a diversion so the nation wouldn’t focus too much on the failed surge and the failed war and the endless loss of life and treasure, you fell for it, hook, line and sinker. And so help me, you decided it was important to formally sneer at a newspaper ad. In light of your recent “harsh words” about Petraeus and his testimony, your actual voting record here is all the more hypocritical and disappointing.

Please tell us all that you really just screwed up and meant to vote “no.” Heck, you can come back to Vermont, take a hike, chill out, get a grip, then head back down and do what the people of Vermont want you to do; get the war ended, and stop wasting time on petty toddler tantrums and posturing by the petulant war-mongers across the isle.

Actually, this is what I just sent off to my Congressman:

Dear Peter Welch,

As a supporter of your campaign for Congress I was dismayed to learn that you today voted with the Republicans in Congress to condemn MoveOn’s ad highlighting General Petraeus’s history of deceipt and betrayal of the American people.

While you may not agree with MoveOn’s tactics or their message the pathetic spectacle of mock outrage really should have been easy enough for a savvy yankee to see thru. These were the same Republicans who had no problem with the Swiftboating of John Kerry not that long ago.

I really want to believe that your vote was cast in error and that you didn’t mean to support the condemnation of free speech. If you sincerely meant to cast that vote I would be very curious to hear your rationale for doing so.