My stupid work changed the channel before he was able to give this, but I teared up simply reading it...so they probably did the right thing.

Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
Eulogy for Edward Kennedy

Boston, MA

Mrs. Kennedy, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Today we say goodbye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy. The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy; a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the U.S. Senate – a man whose name graces nearly one thousand laws, and who penned more than three hundred himself.

But those of us who loved him, and ache with his passing, know Ted Kennedy by the other titles he held: Father. Brother. Husband. Uncle Teddy, or as he was often known to his younger nieces and nephews, "The Grand Fromage," or "The Big Cheese." I, like so many others in the city where he worked for nearly half a century, knew him as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, a friend.

Ted Kennedy was the baby of the family who became its patriarch; the restless dreamer who became its rock. He was the sunny, joyful child, who bore the brunt of his brothers’ teasing, but learned quickly how to brush it off. When they tossed him off a boat because he didn’t know what a jib was, six-year-old Teddy got back in and learned to sail. When a photographer asked the newly-elected Bobby to step back at a press conference because he was casting a shadow on his younger brother, Teddy quipped, "It’ll be the same in Washington."

This spirit of resilience and good humor would see Ted Kennedy through more pain and tragedy than most of us will ever know. He lost two siblings by the age of sixteen. He saw two more taken violently from the country that loved them. He said goodbye to his beloved sister, Eunice, in the final days of his own life. He narrowly survived a plane crash, watched two children struggle with cancer, buried three nephews, and experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible.

It is a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. And it would have been easy for Teddy to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that.

But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, "...[I]ndividual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in – and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves." Indeed, Ted was the "Happy Warrior" that the poet William Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote:

As tempted more; more able to endure,

As more exposed to suffering and distress;

Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.

Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and suffering of others – the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier sent to battle without armor; the citizen denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. The landmark laws that he championed -- the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children’s health care, the Family and Medical Leave Act –all have a running thread. Ted Kennedy’s life’s work was not to champion those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.

We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of health care or workers’ rights or civil rights. And yet, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did. While he was seen by his fiercest critics as a partisan lightning rod, that is not the prism through which Ted Kennedy saw the world, nor was it the prism through which his colleagues saw him. He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect – a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots.

And that’s how Ted Kennedy became the greatest legislator of our time. He did it by hewing to principle, but also by seeking compromise and common cause – not through deal-making and horse-trading alone, but through friendship, and kindness, and humor. There was the time he courted Orrin Hatch’s support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program by having his Chief of Staff serenade the Senator with a song Orrin had written himself; the time he delivered shamrock cookies on a china plate to sweeten up a crusty Republican colleague; and the famous story of how he won the support of a Texas Committee Chairman on an immigration bill. Teddy walked into a meeting with a plain manila envelope, and showed only the Chairman that it was filled with the Texan’s favorite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the Chairman. When they weren’t, he would pull it back. Before long, the deal was done.

It was only a few years ago, on St. Patrick's Day, when Teddy buttonholed me on the floor of the Senate for my support on a certain piece of legislation that was coming up for vote. I gave him my pledge, but expressed my skepticism that it would pass. But when the roll call was over, the bill garnered the votes it needed, and then some. I looked at Teddy with astonishment and asked how he had pulled it off. He just patted me on the back, and said "Luck of the Irish!"

Of course, luck had little to do with Ted Kennedy’s legislative success, and he knew that. A few years ago, his father-in-law told him that he and Daniel Webster just might be the two greatest senators of all time. Without missing a beat, Teddy replied, "What did Webster do?"

But though it is Ted Kennedy’s historic body of achievements we will remember, it is his giving heart that we will miss. It was the friend and colleague who was always the first to pick up the phone and say, "I’m sorry for your loss," or "I hope you feel better," or "What can I do to help?" It was the boss who was so adored by his staff that over five hundred spanning five decades showed up for his 75th birthday party. It was the man who sent birthday wishes and thank you notes and even his own paintings to so many who never imagined that a U.S. Senator would take the time to think about someone like them. I have one of those paintings in my private study – a Cape Cod seascape that was a gift to a freshman legislator who happened to admire it when Ted Kennedy welcomed him into his office the first week he arrived in Washington; by the way, that’s my second favorite gift from Teddy and Vicki after our dog Bo. And it seems like everyone has one of those stories – the ones that often start with "You wouldn’t believe who called me today."

Ted Kennedy was the father who looked after not only his own three children, but John’s and Bobby’s as well. He took them camping and taught them to sail. He laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings; cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy; and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that his parents had instilled in him. Shortly after Ted walked Caroline down the aisle and gave her away at the altar, he received a note from Jackie that read, "On you the carefree youngest brother fell a burden a hero would have begged to be spared. We are all going to make it because you were always there with your love."

Not only did the Kennedy family make it because of Ted’s love – he made it because of theirs; and especially because of the love and the life he found in Vicki. After so much loss and so much sorrow, it could not have been easy for Ted Kennedy to risk his heart again. That he did is a testament to how deeply he loved this remarkable woman from Louisiana. And she didn’t just love him back. As Ted would often acknowledge, Vicki saved him. She gave him strength and purpose; joy and friendship; and stood by him always, especially in those last, hardest days.

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God’s plan for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. He once said of his brother Bobby that he need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, and I imagine he would say the same about himself. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy’s shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy – not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn’t stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along. To one widow, he wrote the following:

"As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved one would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us."

We carry on.

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image – the image of a man on a boat; white mane tousled; smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for what storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God Bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.


Can't I just sleep the next week away?



Oh, Jon Voight. You and your absolutely batshit crazy questions are adorable.

And bravo to you, Sean Hannity! Here I thought you hated those "Hollywood elites?!" I guess those who agree with you get to partake in those awesome Freedom Concerts! (who knew Lee Greenwood was still alive? AND Charlie Daniels?! Holy shit!)



Barney Frank stands up to the loons and actually "reads the bill" to those who supposedly "read the bill" and yet know nothing about it.
Embedded video from CNN Video

And words cannot describe how angry this video makes me. A Jewish man is talking to a local news crew about the health care system in Israel, after a town hall rally finished up there. When out of nowhere a woman shouts out "HEIL HITLER!" I swear to God:

Other things that get my blood boiling in that video. #1: The two male douchebags who rush over with their arms crossed PROTECTING the fucking bitch who just told this Jew to "Heil Hitler" and #2: The woman's reaction to the man's story about how he got a bill for $2,000. She literally puts her hands up to her eyes and goes, "Waaaaaaaaah..."

Fuck it. No more "negotiating" with these people. It's pointless. I say use reconciliation and forgo needing a single Republican's vote. It's painfully obvious that they don't want to reach any sort of agreement that isn't "NO!" Let them take their ball and go on home...we got shit to deal with and these racist, childish games aren't helping anyone. (or their cause...a recent poll found that only 21% "Approve" of the GOP's handling of the health care, versus 62% who disapprove!)



...but have to wait, cause I don't have my time machine built...yet.


Doesn't come out until October 13th.


Doesn't come out until September 9th.

Doesn't come out until August 31st. But get a peek here!

(CD & DVD)

Doesn't come out until August 25th.


Doesn't come out until August 25th.



Read this and try not to cry. A 40 year old soldier died in Afghanistan yesterday. He fought in Ramadi and Fallujah from August 2004 to March 2005, and went back to Fallujah from September 2006 to April 2007.

Then he came back and ran for Pennsylvania's 5th Congressional District in 2008. But lost the Democratic primary.

He just recently was deployed to Afghanistan.

His wife is expecting twins.

And I don't feel a damn bit "safer" knowing we're continuing to fight a war in a country that brought both Alexander the Great AND the Soviet Union to their knees.

Enough of this bloodshed. Enough of fighting endless wars with no winnable solution.

Enough families who have to deal with the fact that their husband, father, son (or wife, mother, daughter) is taken from them. All in the name of "freedom."

I'm fucking free enough without needing anyone else to have to suffer.



Wow. This guy got himself a visit from the Secret Service. His sign also read, "Death to Michelle and her two stupid kids."

It's getting to the point where these people are going to start getting dangerous. (some already are) And when that happens, do you want to be able to say, "I stood up to these goons and called them out for being wrong" or do you want to keep on saying, "The First Black President is going to destroy this country and make us all Marxists?!"

It's your choice. But know that right now, right here at this very moment, it's not too late to realize which side is trying to have a debate about serious topics and which side is obviously just pissed off that Obama is President. Period. Nothing he could ever do would be enough for these people. They're not interested in working on solutions...they're too busy "wanting our country back!"

And do you blame them? You've spent the past couple of years making him into the mother fucking boogey man. Now you get to sit back and reap what you sow. Hope you're proud of yourself.

Meanwhile the rest of us suffer the consequences.



I mean, at what point does the Republican Party want to distance themselves from this "mob" mentality, rather than embrace it? Are they waiting for nooses in trees? Crosses on fire, perhaps?!

WASHINGTON – A swastika was found Tuesday painted on a sign outside Rep. David Scott's district office, an act the Georgia Democrat said reflects an increasingly hateful and racist debate over health care and should serve as a reminder for people to tone down their rhetoric.

Scott's staff arrived at his Smyrna, Ga., office Tuesday morning to find the Nazi graffiti emblazoned on a sign bearing the lawmaker's name. The vandalism occurred roughly a week after Scott was involved in a contentious argument over health care at a community meeting.

Scott, who is black, said he also has received mail in recent days that used N-word references to him, and that characterized President Barack Obama as a Marxist.

"We have got to make sure that the symbol of the swastika does not win, that the racial hatred that's bubbling up does not win this debate," Scott said in a telephone interview. "There's so much hatred out there for President (Barack) Obama."


Because Heaven forbid we actually try and discuss the complexities of such a topic. Nah, let's get people freaked out by mentioning "Death Panels!!!"



Yet ANOTHER wacko, paranoid, racist gunman walked into a building and killed numerous people yesterday.

Oh, and posted his entire thought process online, for all of us to get a better sense of his state of mind.

Now, I know what you're saying, "But Travis, it's just a mere coincidence that every fucking time some nutjob grabs loaded weapons and starts killing innocent people, they spew shit about the "Liberal Media" or "Negros." But you're wrong.

And if you think that this will be the last one, the last time your side will have to answer for bloodshed, think again. These insane mother fuckers are growing in numbers. All your ranting and raving that "Socialism" and "Needing to take our country back" have consequences.

Just look at the number of threats the President gets daily. (It's up 400% from George W. Bush!)

How much more needless killing will have to occur before you realize that we're ALL Americans, and feeding the fringe elements of your party, by making Obama out to be Karl Marx, or trying to claim that he wasn't even born in the United States, creates a hostility...an anger...that can only be solved by the barrel of a gun?!



Today marks 15 years since my Mother passed away. It also marks the exact moment in time where I've spent the same years of my life without her as I did with her. To say that today is a surreal day would be an understatement.


Although I'm only 30 years old, I feel so much older. Losing my Mother at 15 forced me to grow up pretty quickly. She never saw me drive a car, have a girlfriend, start high school...things that most people take for granted. And now that I have a son, and cherish every silly moment, I know how hard it must have been for her to realize that she wasn't going to be able to share those memories with me.

But part of her lives through me, (of course, how could she not?) and with Lex starting Kindergarten in a couple weeks, I can't wait to begin my series of "First Day of School" photos with him. (I used to love Mom doing these when I was in Grade School...but once Middle School started, I wished she'd knock it off...which of course she wouldn't even think twice about doing!)


I can still remember the night I first found out my Mother had found a tumor in her breast. My brother and I always took baths together, even when I was like 10-11 and he was 7-8. I guess it was just easier on my Mom to have to draw one bath for both of us rather than have to go through the entire process twice on a nightly basis. Besides, even though we fought and wrestled throughout most of our childhoods, hanging out in the bathtub while Mom washed our hair was a time to cherish as a family.

helloooooo ladies

But that night was different. Dad came in alongside Mom. There was a stillness in the air and I remember asking my Mom a couple of times if everything was okay.

Dad eventually told us that they went to the doctor while we were away at school and that Mom had a small tumor in her breast. I heard the word Cancer for the very first time in my life and instantly knew it was something bad.

"Mom, are you going to die?" I specifically remember blurting out...almost callused. But I was terrified. I was always closer to my Mother than my Father. We were both very emotional people who wore our hearts on our sleeve.

Dad responded back, "No, she's not going to die."

And for the next 3 years, she would have a on-again, off-again struggle with chemo and radiation. She would spend plenty of nights throwing up and having dry heaves. She would lose all of her hair, have both breasts surgically removed, be constantly worn out, and yet through it all, never lead on that dying was even an option.

But then, one evening, while looking up a phone number for a old friend of hers on the telephone...she just kept flipping the pages of the phone book, on and on and on...

"Cindy, what number are you trying to find?" my Dad asked her.

She responded, "I don't...know?"

"Well, who are you talking to?" he followed up.

She just sat there, like nothing was making any sense, and she was struggling to understand the situation. "I...don't know?!"

He took her to the hospital that evening, and once they returned, we all learned the sad truth. Her Cancer had spread to her brain.


She died 6 months later.

It was the saddest, loneliest I've ever felt in my entire life. I still get emotional when I think back to how unfair it was. She was constantly fighting, always keeping her spirits high, allowing her faith to overwhelm her into thinking that with God's love, she'd be able to overcome the disease. Live to see her children grow up and have babies of their own. She desperately wanted to be a Nana one day.

But instead, she died at the age of 42.

Mom's grave

Enough time has passed to where I'm finally able to accept the fact that at least I was able to share 15 years of my life with her by my side. The last couple years of her life we were as close as we could be. "Wayne's World" had recently come out and we began connecting on all this music she enjoyed when she was a teenager. She'd tell me about going to see Alice Cooper in concert, how he would cut off his head on stage and walk around with it. Picturing your own Mother enjoying such a crazy thing was incredible. Hearing about how she put black lights in her bedroom and stayed up late listening to Jimi Hendrix records pretty much proved that we were basically the same person. She even started to enjoy listening to Pearl Jam with me. I'll never forget how she enjoyed Guns N' Roses because she thought Axl Rose sounded like Janis Joplin! (She had a point.)

So, it's a bittersweet day. One filled with sadness and heartbreak...and one surrounded with love and appreciation. I miss her more than words can truly justify, and I hope that she'd look back at these past 15 years and be proud of the man I've become.


In a lot of ways, I'm still that lil' boy...wearing my heart on my sleeve, wanting to brighten up people's days, and in the end, inspire those around me to take nothing for granted.

Cherish those around you. Take a moment today and tell someone you love them and appreciate their friendship. Trust me, it matters.



More than a mere "cash-in" on the greatest rock band of all time, the boys (and gals) behind Rock Band have created a thing of beauty in their upcoming release...

Seriously, the amount of care and attention to detail that went into recreating moments from this band's career cannot be expressed without watching these videos in action.

I love how they each start out as simply recording sessions, and quickly turn into LSD inspired wild rides.

9.9.09 cannot come soon enough.



(Leave me alone, I'm having to work on a Sunday and am booooooored out of my mind!!!)


Every now and then, the PSN offers Themes and Wallpapers that I actually want to display on my PS3 screen. This one beats them all. Keita Takahashi's art style is so damn cute, who cares if he just did these sketches on the side of a paper bag...it brings a smile to your face! (And Lex had fun "finding" all sorts of different objects throughout the art!)


Not having XM Radio myself, I often rely on reading about the themes and songs discussed on previous shows and trying to track down some of the songs on my own. (And sometimes, buying unauthorized bootlegs of the shows themselves.)

Dylan has an ear for eccentric, interesting music that spans almost the entire 20th century. Broken into hour long themes, (Weather, Love, Crime) these songs each reveal a deeper level than mere music. You get invested in these tunes, enjoying the tales they tell. He constantly manages to find songs and artists that you've gone your whole life without hearing and trust me, your life will be a lil' more fulfilled once you've experienced this journey down Americana history.



I do a lot of bitching on this blog. It's kind of my niche. But I'm not this angry, foaming-at-the-mouth person all day long...really...most of the time, I'm actually happy!

So to balance the flood of constant complaining and ranting that I've done recently, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of some of the things that are making me smile:


Words cannot describe how fun this game is. I'm not into these types of games at all, (you choose between a Worker, Ranger, Warrior, Priest, Mage) but for whatever reason, this game makes me smile! I think it's the fun, cartoony art style (it looks like a BLOODTASTIC version of Animal Crossing) and the fact that it gives the old game of "capture the flag" a unique twist...in that the "flag" each team has to capture is a princess.

...and in order to make the princess harder for the other team to capture, you feed her cake to weigh her down...

Seriously, it's not going to win any sensitivity awards, but dammit, it's a lot of fun!


The first Wii game I've bought...all year long?! The damn Wii is more "novelty" than "incredible video game system," but once in a while, we all gather around it and spend a night playing a video game the same as we'd play "Sorry" or "Candy Land."

Wii Sports Resort has been that game lately. Whereas I play Fat Princess when Molly and Lex have fallen asleep, this game is something we all enjoy. Lex likes to "Sword Fight" and "Skydive" and Molly and I could spend an entire evening playing "Archery." The game comes with a new "Motion Control" sensor, that gives the gets the movement ratio closer to true 1 to 1.

On some events, like "Basketball," the slightest flick of your wrist can determine whether you sink the shot or bounce it off the rim. It's scarily accurate, and quite addictive!


This one is my all time favorite book from my childhood. I read it to him just about nightly now. I'll have to videotape him "reading" it back to me...he tries to match my voices and how I get so excited and scared at parts...it's the most adorable thing ever!

This book is one that Molly and I had never even heard of, and she just bought it at a "Scholastic Book Fair" at Lex's daycare, cause the cover looked neat. It's a very deep story that goes over Lex's head, but I love reading. The artwork inside changes each time the Panda tells the children a story, and is absolutely gorgeous.

One of my favorites from grad school. Perfect for Lex, since he starts Kindergarten in a couple of weeks and needs to shape up and listen to his teacher! (Or else she'll become Ms. Viola Swamp!!!"


I know, I'm like a year and a half late on this one...but for far too long, I wrote these guys off as a lame Southern Rock group. They kept on making catchy singles, and eventually (after hearing "Sex on Fire" a billion times) I broke down and bought one of their albums. It's damn good from start to finish, and as I just read in Entertainment Weekly, it looks like a REMIXED version is going to be coming out in the Fall, with remixes from Justin Timberlake and Trent Reznor!


My God, Bill Maher didn't hold any punches last night (nor should he) against these nutjobs who keep insisting that Obama wasn't born in the US. I laughed so hard watching this clip...and then realized that he's right about NOT just treating this as some silly thing that will eventually go away on it's own.

So, luckily I have a comic in next week's Pitch about our very own Missouri Representative, Republican Roy Blunt and this incredible video that shows how leaders in power, even if they don't believe it themselves, keep fanning the flames of ignorance and hatred...