Tag Archives: Politics
February 23, 2011

POTD: The first Presidential helicopter

This is President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s UH-13J. Not quite as impressive as Marine One, but it was groundbreaking as it became the first helicopter to to be used by a President when Eisenhower took off from the White House lawn in July 1957. The helicopter is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

October 25, 2010

POTD: The Watergate



As students at The George Washington University in downtown Washington, D.C., my classmates and I had the atypical college experience; we didn’t have a football team or expansive lawn on which to play frisbee, and most of the dorms consisted of former hotels and apartment buildings that the university acquired to house the burgeoning student population. During my freshman year I lived at the Hall on Virginia Avenue (HOVA), which was a former Howard Johnson’s hotel. My dorm was situated directly across the street from the infamous Watergate complex, site of the burglaries that eventually led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon. My room, 419, was the original site of the burglars’ “lookout room” from which Alfred Baldwin and James McCord monitored the DNC office. The photo above shows the view from my room.

October 27, 2009

On Stalin and Obama

This is for all the illiterate idiots (hello, Glenn Beck) who invoke the names Stalin, Hitler, Kim, and Mao when discussing Obama. Pick up a goddamn history book for once and realize what you are actually saying. From “A Trip to Chon Tash”:

The crimes of the old regime were on exhibition to those swearing an oath to uphold the new order. In the museum at the site the possessions of many of the victims were displayed with some biographical details. Documents from the archives of the NKVD/KGB showed the trappings of legal formalism that accompanied the brutal deeds, every murder judicially authorized with a sentence stamped and sealed. The execution of the sentence was scrupulously documented. And on one wall was a simple display that spoke powerfully: a portrait of Stalin, and below it a skull, resting on stones taken from the pit.

In America today, the name and image of Stalin are invoked heavily by fringe critics of Barack Obama. The critics disagree with his policies on health care and see in it the basis for increasing power of the state. The role the state will play in the healthcare system is a legitimate political issue on which well-informed citizens can have different views. But the comparison to Stalin makes clear that these critics really have no inkling of who Joseph Stalin was, what he did, and why his name lives in special infamy at hallowed spots like the pit at Chon Tash. This frivolous use of his name and image cheapens our nation’s political dialogue, and it is also a mark of disrespect to his victims. And it points to the fundamental crisis of which Aitmatov wrote so powerfully: the failure to know the past, to be informed by it, and to distill guidance from it. The age of the mankurt, alas, has not passed.

March 1, 2009

Inauguration weekend photos

A few photos from Inauguration weekend (yes, I realize this was over a month ago). Most of these photos are actually from Annie and Cheryl.

My mom and I with the Patino side of the family from LA. They were in town because Tom was doing some shots for Leno’s Tonight Show.

We took a tour of Lincoln’s summer cottage in NW DC.

Checking out Lincoln’s top hat at the newly renovated Smithsonian American History Museum.

Waiting to pick up our tickets from Mary Bono’s office.

Yeah, these were pretty much everywhere.

The Obama store…INSANE.


Annie and I

Cheryl, Annie, my mom, myself, and Katherine in front of the Capitol a few days before the Inauguration. All of the tourists were so happy they would say “Happy Inauguration!” to each other. It was a giant love fest.

Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House

Obama’s viewing stand

The morning of the Inauguration, a little after 5am. We stepped out of the Courthouse and there were already thousands of people pouring out of the Judiciary Square metro station chanting “O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!”.

It was really, really cold that morning.

Waiting at the blue gate.

Did I mention it was really, really cold? Thank god for those instant hand warmers. I stuck them in my boots, back pockets, hat, and uh, basically anywhere I could.

Annie, our professional photographer. She was using a metal barricade to boost herself up and the dude in front of her was nice enough to allow her to use his head as a tripod for her camera.

Obama, as seen through her zoom lens.

I-395 was shutdown to traffic so that pedestrians could use it to get to the other side of the National Mall.

Goodbye, Bush!

December 6, 2008

The view from Moscow

Keith Gessen:

Watching Putin these past few weeks has been unpleasant but riveting…‘There is no question that the age of American power is finished,’ he said. ‘The time when they were a model of democracy, and a leader of the world, is over.’ And you began to think that if the Russian stock market had to all but disappear; if Putin’s friends the oligarchs had to lose 230 billion dollars; if eventually this meant that certain supply chains were going to be disrupted and people might have trouble finding food a few months down the line – well that would be a pretty small price to pay if only we could stop listening to those self-righteous fucking Americans.

December 3, 2008

POTD: McCain/Fey ’04


Saw this on Wonkette a while ago. Still amusing.

SNL comic Tina Fey and Sen. John McCain on cover of LIFE 10-15-2004.


November 25, 2008

POTD: Nixon/Khrushchev Kitchen Debate, 1959


Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (2L) vehemently arguing w. VP Richard Nixon (2R) who is furiously objecting as an excited interpreter (C) translates their firey words re US ideas on home construction during “kitchen debate” at American Natl. Exhibit at Moscow Fair

The entire transcript is worth reading, but this is the best line:

Khrushchev: You’re a lawyer of Capitalism, I’m a lawyer for Communism. Let’s kiss.

Sounds like the title of a Panic! at the Disco song.

(Howard Sochurek, 1959)

November 22, 2008

POTD: November 22, 1963


Pres. John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline arriving for a tour of the city on the morning of Kennedy’s assassination.

I always thought this photo was incredibly sad. A little over an hour after this photo was taken, Kennedy would be pronounced dead.

(Art Rickerby, 1963)

October 20, 2008

These two Russian dudes love Sarah Palin

I love it. Vlad and Boris, please make more music videos!

September 26, 2008

Putin rearing his head over Alaska



Yep, pretty damn scary.

(Via boingboing.net)