A few observations (I hadn’t been there in 13 years):
– I know some people weren’t happy about all the new memorials and museums they’ve constructed around the National Mall, but I think they are all appropriate, conforming, and, well, awesome.
– The new Visitors Center at the Capitol is incredible. I only had one free day (the other day was spent in a seminar, on my own time and my own dime, by the way), and I thought we’d have time to hit up both the Capitol and the Smithsonian. But by the time we were finished with the Capitol, it was almost closing time at the other museums. So, next time you’re in DC and you want to see as much as possible in a short period of time, budget your time wisely. Of course, we had no idea we’d spend nearly four hours in the Capitol, but as it turns out, there really is a lot to see in the new Visitors Center.
– I wish we still had jet service to Houston; the turbo-prop we flew on was easily thirty years old. (To be fair, we DO have jet service to Dallas now).
And I know this isn’t related to my DC trip, but:
– Contrary to what was implied about me on another local blog while I was away, I do, in fact, believe that blogs represent a form of citizen journalism. Duh.
– On a related note, today, The New York Times published a memo on their blog “standards,” and I have to say, I agree completely (bold mine):
What should be avoided in all of them is any hint of racist, sexist or religious bias, or any suggestion of nasty, snide, sarcastic, or condescending tone — “snark.” …
Our ethics code promises that in all dealings with readers, “civility applies.” Contractions, colloquialisms and even slang are, generally speaking, more allowable in blogs than in print. But obscenity and vulgarity are not, and of course unverified assertions of fact, blind pejorative quotes, and other lapses in journalistic standards don’t ever belong in blogs.
Writers and editors of blogs must also distinguish between personal tone and voice and unqualified personal opinion. That is properly found in Opinion blogs, but in the news pages online and in print, opinion must be qualified.
– I’ve bowled a better game than Barack Obama. And I’m disabled. Still, anyone who thinks he actually meant to disparage disabled Americans by comparing his bowling game to the Special Olympics is really stretching it.
– Sarah Palin does not speak for disabled Americans. All this patronizing stuff about how SHOCKED she was and how disabled people are the MOST precious people in the entire universe is just pure grandstanding. Especially since she’s planning on rejecting stimulus money to fund programs for people with special needs. Put your money where your mouth is, Governor.
The biggest single chunk of money that Palin is turning down is about $170 million for education, including money that would go for programs to help economically disadvantaged and special needs students. Anchorage School Superintendent Carol Comeau said she is “shocked and very disappointed” that Palin would reject the schools money. She said it could be used for job preservation, teacher training, and helping kids who need it.