May 27, 2015

Liz's Top Five Cities

As I do the promised travel blogging, I anticipate doing a lot of "top fives." This is partly laziness on my part, partly my thinking that this will help keep my writing semi-accessible and relevant to people. Anyway, here is the first-- my top five cities.

The top three on this list are obvious for me. The last two are less so, and in fairness, Damascus and Istanbul were also in pretty close contention. But here are some thoughts on the top five, in any event. 

1. Rome 

It’s probably easier to say what I don’t like about Rome than to list what I do. In truth, there is only one thing about Rome I don’t like, and that is that it’s big. Really big. A lot bigger than you would think, if you haven’t been there. That makes walking the city tougher than you might expect, which is unfortunate because there is a lot best seen on foot. That really just means you should allocate more time than you think necessary if visiting the Eternal City. 

So what’s to love in Rome? In no particular order…

The Vatican: OK, this works better if you are a) Catholic b) an art lover or c) both. In my case, as a Catholic, having been raised by artists, this is pretty much a no-brainer. If you are religious, see if you can manage to participate in Mass here. A friend and I were lucky enough to attend Mass on Easter Sunday, led by Pope John Paul II. It would be fair to say that was a highlight of my life to-date, but merely visiting St. Peter’s is a high point in itself. If you travel to Rome, be sure to do it, and do the Vatican Museums, also. It’s well worth the effort. ...

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May 27, 2015

Travel blogging

A long time ago, long before I ever got into politics professionally or indeed became a lawyer, I thought it would be cool to be a travel writer. For whatever reason, I never pursued it.

This has probably been to my financial benefit—my suspicion is that travel writers don’t make much, and the competition is pretty fierce. But with that being said, having undertaken a couple of trips with my infant son has got me thinking that there are some observations about the places I’ve been that others might find interesting, even if no one is prepared to pay me to write about these locales. So, since I have a blog, I use it too little, and I occasionally find myself bored of politics and all things political, but I rarely tire of thinking about places I’d like to visit—as well as those I have visited—and travel is about the only indulgence our family has (we don’t drink, we don’t smoke, we don’t do drugs, we don’t eat beef so no steakhouses, etc., etc.), I’ll be posting a few things. We shall see how many of you care to read them.

As a bit of background, I am fairly widely traveled, though still less widely than I would like. I began traveling very early in life, as my family moved from Seattle to just outside London (where, had I not been born on the early side and had my parents left Seattle just a little earlier than they did, I would have been born) and then back again. Maybe that’s why I like travel—it has seemed normal and natural to me from an early age. Or maybe I like it because I just like sampling other cultures, food, and because I love history. Maybe I just like taking a break from things by immersing myself in very different surroundings (I don’t fully understand the concept of a “staycation”)....

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October 11, 2014

Liz fact sheet for new Twitter followers/trolls/people making assumptions they maybe shouldn't

Hi there. If you're reading this, you're probably a new follower of mine on Twitter. Or maybe you're a troll. Or maybe you're someone making assumptions you really shouldn't. Below will be at least one fact relevant to the point you're trying to make or the question you've asked. Happy reading!

1. You've worked for candidates who lost elections, so why should anyone listen to your views on politics?

Not a lot of people really do listen to my views on politics, relative to people like Ann Coulter, Dick Morris, Joan Walsh and Al Sharpton, but for what it's worth, I'm pretty sure I've had a better track record of predicting outcomes and reasons for them than any of these people. So maybe you should listen, or maybe not. That's your call.

But as for the losing thing, first of all, I've advised winning candidates and parties as well as losing ones, both in the US and abroad. I consulted for the GOP in 2010. I've advised foreign parties and individuals who have won elections. I worked for Scott Walker in his recall election in 2012. I've also worked for losing candidates and parties and organizations (Carly Fiorina is the one who is usually mentioned). And I've worked for people who aren't up for (re-) election who are generally regarded as pretty successful.

My general attitude where working on campaigns is concerned is that I've got to really like and believe in the person, and that their odds of winning aren't really things I consider relevant when deciding whether I like them and want to work for them. Most consultants want to work only for winners, even if they are wet farts of human beings who frankly no one should be inspired by or want to vote for. So, some of them have more winning records than me. But they also work for wet farts of human beings, so there's that.

The vast majority of my work isn't for candidates, committees, parties, etc., though. It's on issues. Again, for whatever that is worth....

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