Month: March 2017

The Week So Far: Russian Dressing

Major media outlets are still focusing on Russia this week, which is hardly surprising.  There’s scandal, great sound bytes (can someone say “Russian dressing”?), and there’s always the chance that someone’s career can be ended over essentially nothing.  If that doesn’t sell papers and draw viewers, nothing will. (more…)

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The Black Hog, Urbana MD

The Washington D.C. Beltway is the deadliest stretch of highway in North America.  It goes from two lanes up to twelve, often without warning, and connects I-95 with half a dozen commuter highways, none busier than I-270.  Here, lawyers and lobbyists come together and kill each other daily while playing bumper-tag in Audis, Beemers, Priuses, and Teslas.  Some would say that’s the best public service they’ll ever perform in their abbreviated lives, but who am I to judge?  All I’ll say is this:  Never ever but never take these roads during rush hour.

Fortunately, the Black Hog is open at 11am daily, and Urbana (just off I-270) is only one of three locations — the best, though the two in Frederick come close.  Here can be found some of the best ribs, sauces, and barbecue in the world.  They’ll serve your ribs wet or dry (more…)

Healthcare: Ask Not

When last night’s vote on H.R. 1628, the Republican healthcare bill, was cancelled, Democrats across the country were overjoyed.  In particular, the minority leaders for the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, were delighted to take ownership for the bill’s defeat.  Speaker Ryan was evidently quite disappointed in defeat, and President Trump was quick to cast blame.

On the face of it, that’s the whole story.  Obamacare (the ACA) is the law of the land and likely to remain so for another year at least.  The Republicans tried and failed; the Democrats won an unlikely (more…)

We’re Going To Mars?

(Picture of empty status board in NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building.  Image credit Tony Rice.)

Amid all the scandal, the signing on Tuesday of the NASA reauthorization act (now Public Law 115-10) caused almost no noise in the media.  On the face of it, this is a standard funding authorization, and those aren’t usually worthy of much attention.

But slightly below the surface, this law contains several alterations from the present status.  It’s definitely worth a second look. (more…)

Manafort, Nunes, Russia: More Non-News

Two old stories made headlines again today, both Trump-Russia.  Neither one is news.

A short time ago, Rep. Devin Nunes (R. Calif.), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, held a brief press conference in which he stated he was on his way to the White House to inform the President about a recent discovery.  He’s apparently learned of certain conversations that the government recorded (more…)

Boxcar Bar + Arcade, Raleigh NC

And here you thought arcades were a thing of the past.

The Boxcar is precisely what the arcades of your youth were not.  Those machines were filthy, nasty, and poorly maintained; these are pristine and beautiful.  The crowd back then was smelly pimpled kids sucking Jolt Cola; now, they’re well-groomed urban professionals mixed with college students, and the beverage of choice is craft beer on tap.  And let me tell you, the beer is damned good — too good, in fact; it’ll affect your game if you’re not careful.

Speaking of games, let me tell you about the games.  Not only do they (more…)

Not Korea Or Syria, But Venezuela

Caracas is about five hundred miles south of Puerto Rico, and it’s home to one of the most troubled economies in the world.  And, while the United States has indeed played a part in letting this happen, as a whole it’s mostly the fault of the Venezuelan government.

Books could be written here, and some no doubt have been.  I’m going to keep this short, however, and in order to do that (more…)

Breaking News: Comey Testifies, Says Nothing

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee today, Monday, 20 Mar 2017, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency is in fact investigating whether the Russian government attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election, and who if anyone colluded with them in their actions.  As well, he spoke at some brief length on the process involved in ordering wiretaps, stating that President Obama could not have tapped the phone lines at Trump Tower during the election.

Before I go on, let me just say that his testimony (more…)

Swig & Swine, Charleston SC

“Horrifyng Vegetarians Since 2013”, the Swig & Swine serves what I believe to be the best ‘Que in the Lowcountry, including the third-best ribs I have ever had the pleasure to consume.

With any other style of cuisine I’d have to warn you not to be fooled by the decor, which features corrugated steel and a lot of bare wood.  But that’s (more…)