Blagojevich has been unanimously removed from the Governor’s Office today, and Chris Matthews has been coverng this new development on his show, Hardball, for the past hour. Watching these developments, hearing the ridiculousness of Blagojevich’s defense, his likening himself to Ghandi, and King, his use of Kipling’s poetry to defend himself makes me thankful that last night, thanks to my friend (who happens to be Republican) I was able to attend a speech by Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker.
Mayor Booker’s speech was the keynote address of an evening dedicated to celebrating 60 years of Ithaca’s Youth Bureau. Booker talked about the need to be united, the necessity to see the good in dire situations, and the requirement of humanity to know that from inequality and suffering comes progress. Cory Booker is New Jersey’s Barack Obama, no doubt. He is one of those “new generation” politicians. Hearing him speak of duty and kindness and charity, hearing him invoke scripture from the Bible, Torah, Koran, Lotus Sutra, and many others, listening to his originality, taking in his genuine stories and personal experiences made an extremely deep impression in my mind and heart about him. In fact, as my friend and I were walking out of the State Theater, heading back to the car, I had mentioned that there were rumors that Booker was being asked to run for Governor of NJ after Corzine’s term is complete, to which he replied I’d vote for him. That’s no small feat. He’s no RINO or northeastern Republican. He didn’t vote for Barack Obama, but rather supported McCain and is in disgust with his two senators, Feinstein and Boxer.
Cory Booker left the State Theater with a standing ovation from the audience and a special cheer from those New Jersey natives after inviting Giants fans to mourn with him in the back corner and saying, “It’s the Jersey Giants.” Damn right Mayor Booker! It’s the New Jersey Giants!
A day on the slopes and a night of Cornell hockey isn’t the typical Cornell weekend (too much leisure, not enough work) but before all the work starts piling up, it’s nice to take advantage of the winter in Ithaca. Over the past couple of weeks it snowed quite a bit, and for the first time I’ve been at Cornell, Greek Peak (ski resort 30 minutes outside of Ithaca) opened all of its trails and lifts. Two friends and I took full advantage of this opportunity and reaped the benefits of nice snow, no lift lines whatsoever and a multitude of trails to ski down.
Arriving back to Cornell at 6:30pm, we gave ourselves little time to eat and get ready for the hockey game against Brown at 7. I, personally, arrived, three minutes into the game and missed the first of five Cornell goals that resulted in a 5-1 victory. After a tough loss to Yale the night before, tonight’s win should help tamper the blow to our ESPN/INCH power ranking of #2. It also left the crowd in a jovial mood as the building emptied with the fans singing, “Mary had a little sieve, little sieve, little sieve. Mary had a little sieve, that let in five goals.”
The Connie Morrow and Pat Greene song is the only tune that kept coming to my mind today as Barack Obama is officially President of the United States (that and John Williams’ composition)! CNN’s coverage showed public squares in Harlem, Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Memphis of scores of people gathered together watching the inauguration. Here at Cornell, witnessing history was no different. I, personally, decided to skip my English class to see VP Biden and President Obama sworn in. The inaguration was being broadcast at several locations throughout campus, the most crowded being 1,300 seat auditorium, Bailey Hall. People were sitting in the balcony, and seats had to be reserved by picking up a ticket in advance. My friend was in the Mann library atrium where two 42 inch lcd tv’s were airing the inauguration, and he excitingly informed me that it was so crowded one could not move through the lobby. I hadn’t missed a class in three years until today, and I have no regrets. Listening to his speech, feeling the excitement where I was sitting in Ithaca, NY and seeing the excitement in Washington, DC, it’s hard not to envision a great eight years.