A cyclist! He’s got my vote:
Eric Zorn wonders whether he looks stupid in a bike helmet, ignoring the fact everybody looks stupid in a bike helmet, including Lance Armstrong.
Jim G said on June 9, 2008 at 3:53 pm
You know what else looks stupid? Brains splattered on pavement.
John said on June 9, 2008 at 3:53 pm
Dude looks good in jeans. I’m just wondering what he’s hauling.
edit: Nevermind…I read the article. It’s the kiddies.
Jim G said on June 9, 2008 at 3:55 pm
I wonder where his security detail is as he rides. Is part of it in the sensible sedan in the background? Or did the Secret Service go biking? When the Secret Service goes biking, do they wear suits, or do they dress down to khakis and polos?
Danny said on June 9, 2008 at 3:55 pm
Ah, Nance. President Bush is a cyclist and by all reports, a much more serious cyclist. He even rode with Lance. Sooo…
Danny said on June 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm
True about the brains splattered, Jim. I always wear a helmet.
Last week, my buddy wrecked when his chain came off. Broken shoulder, three cracked ribs, broken wrist and a helmet that was broken in half. Thanks to the helmet, we were able to chat about his other injuries.
Also, a few weeks ago, I was riding and chatting with a woman who swore helmets had saved her life twice.
Wear your helmets people. And that means even you, Dexter!
Catherine said on June 9, 2008 at 4:14 pm
Helmets, good. Helmet-hair, bad. Any tips?
LAMary said on June 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm
President Bush has more spare time to be a serious cyclist.
Danny said on June 9, 2008 at 4:33 pm
Catherine, wear a bandana? And most of the women I see with longer hair have it pulled back in a ponytail or braid.
Danny said on June 9, 2008 at 4:38 pm
Yeah, Senator Obama doesn’t have much free time. He’s too busy being a “community organizer.” Maybe Sundays wil work better for him though as he currently seems to be in between churches.
LAMary said on June 9, 2008 at 4:42 pm
No, Danny, didn’t you hear? He’s running for president. Bush is a short timer. He doesn’t have to do much. And personally I think that’s probably a good thing. Less he does, less he fucks up.
Dexter said on June 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm
I just received an email copy . My brother and the nephew I mentioned (nephew lives in a condo on Washington) did Chicago’s “Bike the Drive” about ten days ago. A few photos were sent out to friends (also there are some excellent YouTubes under “Bike the Drive”) and some featured my helmetless nephew. My brother is a former ultra-marathon cyclist and Paris-Brest-Brest racer, and he has many cycling friends, and my nephew caught holy hell for being bare-noggined. OK, Danny, thanks for the stern advice…I usually wear my helmet only on rides of a few miles or longer; short go-get-a-Coke rides, I don’t. I promise to get better.
Kerry handled a bike well, Bush is a very skilled mountain biker now, after quitting running years ago, but Obama rides more like I do. I never owned tights and I prefer to ride in an upright position, and have converted my four most used bikes to riser handlebars. It is great to see Obama on a bike.
Here in town there is a very large man who rides all over…I see him daily, in different neighborhoods and park paths. He is like me…bike riding doesn’t help him lose any weight. I bet he’s like me…biking makes me hungry and …well, you know.
Dexter said on June 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm
LA M: Bush has much to do! He’s off to Europe now, attending to important matters…I can’t wait to see him in clogs ,dancing in Amsterdam….hey , remember when LBJ went back to his ranch after he did not seek the ’68 candidacy? He let his hair grow very long and curl up at the ends, rammed around his ranch at high speeds, and after being off cigarettes for 14 years, started chain smoking again. I wonder if Bush will start drinking and whatever else it has been hinted he used to do…hmmmm?
LAMary said on June 9, 2008 at 5:03 pm
Start? I think he started already a while back.
Jeff said on June 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm
Re: Bush, Rice, and Middle East — six of the quietest years the region has seen since the end of the Ottoman Empire.
As for the urban legend about Clinton having more military casualties than Bush, that’s not so, but the facts are quite interesting, in a sad and tragic way:
U.S. Active Duty Military Deaths 1980-2006
1980 …. 2,392
1981 …. 2,380
1982 …. 2,319
1983 …. 2,465
1984 …. 1,999
1985 …. 2,252
1986 …. 1,984
1987 …. 1,983
1988 …. 1,819
1989 …. 1,636
1990 …. 1,507
1991 …. 1,787
1992 …. 1,293
1993 …. 1,213
1994 …. 1,075
1995 …. 1,040
1996 ……. 974
1997 ……. 817
1998 ……. 827
1999 ……. 796
2000 ……. 758
2001 ……. 891
2002 ……. 999
2003 …. 1,228
2004 …. 1,874
2005 …. 1,942
2006 …. 1,858
The fact is that when you have lots of young folk messing about with powerful engines and high explosive, bad things happen in peacetime training and just moving about. Warfare makes them more alert, but also means they get shot at and have mines set in their path.
And none of this includes civilian casualties, which are large & heartwrenching numbers, but we don’t know what the numbers were under Assad Sr. in Syria, let alone under Saddam and the boys, but we do know Iran and Iraq killed literally millions of their own just a few years back in a war that redefined pointless (see wikipedia for Iran-Iraq War – the numbers and events beggar fiction and even fantasy, and explain much of the current anti-dialogue between the two nations).
Bush just isn’t going to be remembered as the blithering idiot many hope to read about years from now in their dotage. He’s no Reagan, either, but then again Reagan was no Reagan, or at least not the bronze statue being polished these days on the left and right.
The great what if of our era’s history will be “If Gore had been in office on 9-11, what would he have done?” My conjecture is . . . pretty much what we done did, but the homefield politics would have been el mondo weird.
As it is, Bush helped make Obama possible, and that’s a really fun thought, no matter what your party registration . . .
Jeff said on June 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm
Seriously, you gotta check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq_War and the 750,000 dead for something less than nothing; should you have a strong stomach, try the Second Congo War, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Congo_War, which Bush and Clinton ought to join up forces to keep working on after November — Clinton gets it, and Bush Dubya has done more about it, but there’s no war-fighting apparatus on the planet that can do anything to help the situation. Only NGOs and corporations who want customers and not corpses can get their arms around that region.
Just watch — Bush 43, Daddy 41 if he’s well enough, and Bill Big Dog will be focused on Africa and mainly the Congo this time next year. They’ll have Bono and Sachs and Gates all at their elbows, and it will be about frickin’ time.
Unless the complete economic collapse of Iran stirs up some dreadful cross-border adventure that the US has to deal with instead . . . lacking that, you could talk me into voting Obama just to give the whole endeavour the right tone going into 2010, if there weren’t such shallow ninnies (both parties) in the Senate.
Catherine said on June 9, 2008 at 5:39 pm
Jeff, leaving aside the horrifying issue of civilian casualties (which I’d rather not do), doesn’t the definition of “casualties” include wounded? Maybe the reason the death number isn’t a big spike is that folks aren’t getting killed so much as injured? I believe something like 30,000 soldiers have been injured in Iraq, with some estimates as high as 100K. And I know from my brother, a VA psychiatrist, and a woman acquaintance who rehabs soldiers, these are growth businesses. We need to be careful not to minimize the impact of this effing war.
Julie Robinson said on June 9, 2008 at 5:45 pm
Looking stupid is much better than being dead. My brother in law died after a helmetless bike/van accident. Not a scratch or bruise on his body, except for brain damage. It’s not a good way to lose a loved one.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 9, 2008 at 7:16 pm
All true Catherine — the problem is answering the question whether 40,000 injured Americans along with 4,000+ killed, and 50,000 to 130,000 or more civilian deaths worse than what would have happened if we hadn’t gone into Iraq? I really don’t know, but i want to keep asking because i think it isn’t a given that the situation would have been stable or better if Al Gore had been negotiating around the edges of the embargo, and i’m not slamming Gore when i say that.
The ongoing haunting question for American presidents in the modern age is this — when are thousands of American deaths worth preventing millions of deaths overseas? And if you prevent them, folks can say it wasn’t necessary . . . and you really never will know for sure. We gave 400,000 lives and still didn’t save 6 million in the camps during WWII; some say we blinked at 55,000 dead and helped to doom 3 million Cambodians when another 15,000 dead Americans would have saved them.
I recommend, with huge qualifications & reservations, Nicholson Baker’s “Human Smoke,” which takes on these questions from the other direction, but he’s thinking about these historical contingencies which presidents face as actualities. He asks — could we have not fought World War II, and saved more lives by not fighting? I think he accidentally answers his own question in the negative, but it was worth the consideration. http://www.amazon.com/Human-Smoke-Beginnings-World-Civilization/dp/1416567844/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213053351&sr=8-1
whitebeard said on June 9, 2008 at 7:41 pm
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) wrote:
“All true Catherine — the problem is answering the question whether 40,000 injured Americans along with 4,000+ killed, and 50,000 to 130,000 or more civilian deaths worse than what would have happened if we hadn’t gone into Iraq?”
And the answer is: Since when did the USA become the world’s policeman when the United Nations is available, the world’s sponsor of democracy in countries that do not accept democracy and become the world’s deepest wallet for fat-cat war profiteers from Haliburton to Blackwater, especially when the justification for Iraq was all blatant lies and criminal untruths.
del said on June 9, 2008 at 8:01 pm
To me the story of the Iraq war is the willingness of average Americans to march to war’s drumbeat and support killing for reasons that they simply do not understand, or that are based on misconceptions.
nancy said on June 9, 2008 at 8:05 pm
I always wear my helmet. As for helmet-hair, my only advice is:
1) short haircut;
2) baseball cap in back pocket; and
3) making peace with not being a blushing flower of hair perfection.
nancy said on June 9, 2008 at 8:20 pm
Oh, and Danny — the only pastime that could salvage my opinion of Dubya is if he took up equestrian sports. In an English saddle.
Catherine said on June 9, 2008 at 9:01 pm
Nancy and Danny, thank you for bringing me back to issues that I CAN do something about immediately. So, bandanna and baseball cap, check. Making peace… wait, are we back on that?
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 9, 2008 at 9:43 pm
Sorry, when i sit waiting for a family to show up who doesn’t (and it’s about whether their kid gets out of lock up or not), i get all moody and broody.
Mainly because i wish i were at home riding bikes with my wife and son, but my hair looks fine after the helmet comes off because it’s pretty darn short. Roasted a bunch of little Yukon Gold taters on the grill and made potato salad with ’em, and leaving for Cub Scout Day Camp tomorrow, 475 kids up a rocky valley and fun for all. Moodiness gone, for now.
Next post, which may be a while, i’ll try to be more merry! Or at least “cheerful,” which is in the Scout Law.
Dexter said on June 9, 2008 at 10:08 pm
whitebeard is in tune with reality…and what he wrote in question form can be easily answered, but I want to focus on this: John McCain and the hundred more years of war in Iraq. It’s true, he did not say he was going all-out to ensure a hundred more years of combat, but he was referring to a huge occupation, sans warfare, yes, policemen of the world. And then he said it, something about NO American CARING about the more than half-century presence in Korea, and in all the foreign embassies and military outposts around the world. He said “NO AMERICAN CARES…”
Edwards wanted to stage thousands of US troops in Kuwait, and flash them in for spot-battles…Biden had a complicated plan which is too long for here, HRC wanted to “obliterate” Iran at hint of nuclear threat to the Zionists, only Gravel and Kucinich promised withdrawal from Iraq.
Now, do no Americans care that McCain would have troops staged around Iraqi borders and strategically camped out all over the Middle East ? If he gets elected, there’s your answer. No way will fiscal sanity be reflected in the numbers if McCain continues Bush’s foolish war…if the voters can’t stand the thought of abandoning Bush’s folly, let them be prepared for huge deficits and misery, and with no energy policy in the works from the repugs, look for unavailability at the gas pumps.
Wolfowitz told us “Iraqi oil will pay for the war..” and people believed that shit. I shudder to imagine what McCain will cook up, that is after a round of obligatory Iran-shelling.
Oh, Obama can’t wait to bomb Iran , either…no way Iran gets out of a bombing.
Hattie said on June 9, 2008 at 10:14 pm
This is so cool that I am almost tempted to take up biking.
We need an aesthetic of biking!
(Hope this does not screw up the margins)
Jolene said on June 9, 2008 at 10:34 pm
In this video, Obama speaks to his headquarters staff after winning the nomination. I very much liked the piece at the end where he says that, having knocked out the competition, they have to win. That statement arises from the idea that, in winning, they have taken on the people’s problems, and it would be a great moral failing to let the responsibility for dealing with those problems fall to the Republicans who, in his view, are not committed to addressing them. It’s a very homemade video, but worth checking out.
Dexter said on June 9, 2008 at 10:48 pm
Wow, Hattie, gonna start at the top, eh? I’m retired and watch Le Tour from start to finish, but as for riding, I prefer just moseying along a trail sans automobiles, no racing for me.
In my little world I have found that folks I know that hate hockey will likewise hate watching cycling. I love watching both.
Dexter said on June 10, 2008 at 1:44 am
Here’s our new video that Mr. Crawford edited Saturday, a simple project of stills , sent into Congressional Quarterly’s Trail Mix blog. The score is from a homemade disc that Mr. Crawford bought in Rome while researching Machiavelli for his last book, ” The Politics of Life: 25 Rules for Survival in a Brutal and Manipulative World”.
From the first video, that’s me by the VW bus, and new, for this new video, I am caught shoveling snow, wearing a ski mask—this was not staged—it was C-O-L-D that day!
coozledad said on June 10, 2008 at 7:23 am
Yeah. I’d like to see Bush on a horse, too, but I understand they cause him to urinate spontaneously. It’s been said he prefers the English saddle when riding Victor Ashe, but these are wild accusations made by disgruntled former part-time employees with an axe to grind, books to sell, and unfathomable ingratitude.
Eric said on June 10, 2008 at 9:02 am
Obama’s bike has a hitch and post. He’s pulling something, but the photo is cropped. A trailer? A daughter on a trail-a-bike? A pledged superdelegate?
Dorothy said on June 10, 2008 at 9:36 am
Eric you’ve got to click on Nancy’s link (A cyclist!) to see the entire article and the rest of the pictures. One of his daughters is in a little cart behind his bike.
Linda said on June 10, 2008 at 10:23 pm
I remember trying to talk my nephews into helmets. Then, I met an E.R. nurse who told me there was something more dorky than a helmet: drooling for the rest of your life. I passed it along.
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