Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Space: The Final Frontier for Kucinich

Ever wonder how many electoral votes the folks on Vulcan or a Klingon Starship might award a presidential candidate? We might have to start wondering.

During the Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia, moderator Tim Russert asked Dennis Kucinich to shed some light on the recent claim that he had a close encounter with a UFO.

Seems that according to Shirley MacLaine in her new book, "Sage-Ing While Age-Ing", Kucinich has claimed to have seen a UFO.

Kucinich "had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there," MacLaine, wrote. "Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him.” Kucinich and MacLaine have been close friends.

So is Congressman Kucinich making a pitch for a new constituency in his run for the presidency? Americans who believe in UFOs may be a new voting block for the candidate to consider.

He should seriously increase his standing in the Presidential race considering that right now an astounding 34% of Americans believe in UFOs. Getting all those folks to support him should put him closer to the top of the heap. Considering that Chimpy McFlightsuit’s approval rating is hovering lower than a UFO making passes over Roswell, New Mexico, 34% is not bad for Dennis.

Now, according to polls conducted by the American Research Group, Inc. Kucinich has remained at a steady 1% since last March. The latest poll was conducted October 9-12, 2007. The theoretical margin of error for each sample is plus or minus 4 percentage points, 95% of the time. So, theoretically, at least Rep. Kucinich could be as high as 5% or as low as -3%. Candidate ‘less than Zero’.

So, the 34% plus his own committed troops of 1% could place him as high as 35%.

That constituency may not make Kucinich boldly go where no man has gone before. But, it would place him below Hillary Clinton [45%], but above Obama at 20%.

U.S. Military Will Oversee Contractors

From The New York Times:

U.S. Military Will Oversee Contractors

"All State Department security convoys in Iraq will now fall under military control, in a move to bring armed contractors under tighter supervision." [more].

From the United States Constitution:

Executive Branch:

Article II, Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments

“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States…”

So, therefore the president commands the folks that oversee the military contractors.

Yeah, that’s working out real well. If the US military is first now over-seeing the military contractors , who was watching them before?

This whole Iraq thing is such a cluster ^&^$#%, it's unbelievable.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Always be Prepared

“One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'.”
Dan Quayle

Vice President Dan Quayle, not unlike President Chimpy McFlightsuit, always had a way with phrases. But the message certainly is an important one: Be Prepared.

For your future arguments with any neo-cons or paleo-cons, I offer these two books for your look-see, and how to be prepared.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative by Daniel Kurtzman

“How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide to arguing politics, filled with cunning strategies and damning facts guaranteed to bait and baffle right-wing blowhards everywhere.

With the presidential election approaching, this irreverent yet practical guide is essential reading for unpracticed neophytes and seasoned politicos alike — the perfect primer for anyone who's ever fantasized about smacking sense into a misguided conservative adversary.

With the help of the tips and tricks in this book, we'll show
you how to confidently tangle with conservatives in any situation — from surviving family sparring matches to engaging in Internet flame wars, or even what to do if you're sleeping with the enemy. If you're tired of right-wing nut jobs and their nonsense, it's time to do your part to defend America, one argument at a time.”

“We're Right, They're Wrong” by James Carville

The media is flooded with anti-Clinton and anti-Democrat propaganda. Republican voices and faces blanket the airwaves spouting misinformation at a breakneck pace. The average American hears only this one-sided barrage of negative attacks, yet few liberals respond. James Carville is one liberal who is not going to just sit idly while the Republicans mislead the American Public.

His new book, We're Right, They're Wrong, gives liberals and progressives the ammunition they need to fight back against the Republican media machine.
We're Right, They're Wrong, Carville explains, is for people who want to know the facts behind the Republican myths and falsehoods. "It is for people who have had to put up with nauseating, inaccurate lectures from selfish airheads about the way the country was founded and what the Constitution really means," Carville says.

Anyway, 2008 will be a long road to the White House. A good reading of “We’re Right, They’re Wrong” and “How to Win a Fight With a Conservative” will keep you ready for the fights yet to come.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Say it ain’t so, Joe. Say it ain’t so.

Joe and the Yankees: It ain’t so. No more Joe.

Now, it’s no insult to offer a man five million dollars to run a baseball team. For a man in Joe’s position, it was no great honor either.

Last year he made 7.5 million. He was offered a 1/3 pay cut. For what? For leading the Yankees to their 13th consecutive post-season appearance? For taking the Yankees from the bottom of the division at 21-29 to the playoffs? He will be high on the list for Manager of the Year.

But as I say, it’s the Yankees loss, and, maybe, just maybe, the country’s gain.

So, I nominate Joe Torre for President. That’s right: Put Yankee pinstripes on the White House.

And why not? Certainly he can do a better job than Chimpy McFlightsuit.

And, it seems to me that Joe Torre possesses the very qualities needed to shape up and lead our nation.

He knows how to put together a good team ---the right people for the right job. When he came on in 1998, he brought Don Zimmer, Mel Stottlemeyer and Willie Randolph to help him coach. He brought in Don Mattingly for a hitting coach.

Foreign relations experience? You bet. He’s had to manage Hideki Matsui from Japan. Jorge Posada from Santurce, Puerto Rico. Chien-Ming Wang from Tainan, Taiwan. And A-Rod from Ego-Land.

On the job experience: He’s held office for twelve years ---much longer than most world leaders.

Domestic relations? He has successfully dealt with teams from Boston, Chicago, and Cleveland. He has had to deal with his own Chairman of the Board.

Can he deal with ‘hostile enemy combatants ? Have you ever been to bat day at Yankee Stadium during a Red Sox series? In the Bronx, no less? There’s some real hostile fans there. Torre is Mr. Cool all the time.

And what president has ever had to deal with the likes of George Steinbrenner? He’s more like Saddam Hussein than Saddam Hussein is.

Communication skills: While in office, President Bush has given the fewest number of press conferences of any president in recent years. Joe Torre holds a press conference practically after each and every game, win or lose.

No Press Secretary. No spin. No retractions. No post-press conference press releases explaining what he meant to say. It’s just Joe and the camera.

So, we need to pinstripe the White House.

He has done his job quietly, confidently, and successfully for twelve seasons. Ten division titles. Four World Series. And one over the New York Mets, too.

In the twelve years before Joe arrived:

There were nine managers, with Billy Martin and Lou Pinella having repeat runs.

World Series titles: Zero
American League Pennants: Zero
Division Titles: Zero

So, who can take Torre’s place? I know there is talk about Mattingly, Joe Gerardi, Bobby Valentine, Tony Larusso. All good choices for various reasons.

But I have my own suggestions for the Steinbrenner clan:

George W. Bush. Yes, Bush.

On the plus side: He goes to his Right very well. And he speaks funnier than Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra put together. And he was the owner of the Texas Rangers. Could be a great punching bag for the New York sports press. Will need a job come 1-20-09.
On the minus side: When he owned the Rangers, he traded Sammy Sosa. And he's not very bright.

Rudy Giuliani:

Upside: If he loses the Republican nomination, he could be ready to take the helm by the spring of 2008. He’s used to the New York press corps, and may have the guts to deal with Steinbrenner. Knows how to get to Yankee Stadium by subway, if he needs to.
Downside: He recently stated he's rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series.

Jay Leno:

Upside: Rumored to be leaving the Tonight Show in 2009, so he might be available. No real experience in baseball, but grew up in Boston watching the Sox lose. Has his own fleet of cars, any of which can be used to drive relief pitchers in from the bullpen. Can warm up the crowd with a great ten minutes, while the pitcher warms up, too.
Downside: May be too likable to be a baseball manager in NYC.

Yogi Berra:

Lives near by in Montclair; certainly has the experience and might still have an old uniform or two lying around in his house. Maybe he can catch a game or two if Posada needs a rest.

The Fans themselves:

Maybe Steinbrenner can save some money by going a season without a manager. Give the fans at the stadium and at home on the web the ability to make all the calls themselves. When a pitching change is needed, ask the fans to vote online. Certainly the technology is there. When a steal is needed or there a sacrifice bunt, go to the web.

So, it goes.

Ballgame over. Joe Torre over. The fans lose. The Yankees lose.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Almost Famous in New Jersey

Some made it in: The Boss. The Chairman of the Board. The Wizard of Menlo Park. The Number Two Man on the Moon. And, of course, Yogi.

They're better known as Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Tom Edison, Buzz Aldrin, and famed Yankee catcher, .

They beat out a famous American poet buried in Camden. The twenty-eighth president of the United States. An American comedian and film maker who was the winner of the French Minister of Culture’s 'Legion of Honor' award. And the writer of The Great Gatsby. Of course you may have heard of them as Walt Whitman, Woodrow Wilson, Jerry Lewis, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What was the line of demarcation between these two groups? The first group made it in to the new New Jersey Hall of Fame.
And for the second group, well, there is always next year.

The Hall of Fame is yet to be built, but has 15 famous New Jerseyeans ready and willing to be hung in its halls. The hall's first class of 15, includes, in addition to the above famous folk:

Meryl Streep, Albert Einstein, Clara Barton, U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, Vince Lombardi, Malcolm Forbes, Robert Wood Johnson II, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, Toni Morrison and Harriet Tubman are claimed by the Garden State for our Hall of Fame.

Vince Lombardi? A New Jerseyean? Yup, he was an assistant coach at St. Cecilia, a Catholic high school in Englewood, New Jersey for a while early in his career. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf? Schwarzkopf was born in Trenton, New Jersey.

Entry in to the NJ Hall of Fame requires a five year residency. So, the standards are pretty wide open.

My nominees would have to include Larry Doby [first African-American baseball player in the American League]; my fav comedy team of Bud Abbott & Lou Costello, and Supreme Court Justice William Brennan.

Once again, I hope that Leno and Conan O’Brien take note.

Hey! New Jersey! Who says we don’t got no class?

We know we don’t get no respect from time to time from the likes of Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien ----thems makin’ with the 'Jersey jokes' and all ---all the friggin’ time. But, hey at least one goodfella from New Jersey knows the difference between goya beans and the artwork of famed Spanish artist Francisco de Goya.

So, hey, does this guy got class or what?

It appears that a certain Goya painting came in to the ‘possession’ of a Steven Lee Olson of Carlstadt.

The paintin’ in question is one Goya painted called “Children with a Cart"----he painted the thing waaaay back in 1778 as a model for a tapestry planned for the bedroom of a Spanish prince. Ain’t that somethin’? A friggin’ Spanish prince!
This here "Children with a Cart" shows this group of four kids, and includes this one kid blowing a horn and another kid with his back to the viewer. That got me thinkin’-----what’s with the kid's back to Goya for? What’s that kid hidin’, anyway? Hey, kid, turn the freak around! Don't be dissin' no Goya guy.

Anyway, the New Jersey guy in question----the guy who ‘acquired’ the Goya painting---came across this fine work of art at a motel in Stroudsburg, Pa ----from the transport drivers who were transportin’ it to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan from the Toledo Museum of Art. Is that cool or what? A paintin' all the way from Toledo, Ohio to the Big Apple. Wonder if this guy Goya was a Toledo Mudhens minor league baseball fan while he was paintin' out there. Maybe he caught a game or two ----when he wasn’t paintin’ kids with a cart, I mean.

And I am impressed with anyone who can paint. I can't paint anything worth a squat, so I recommend my cousin Paul for painting. But, I digress.

Anyway, Olson must have been so taken by the paintin’, that he’s speechless or somethin’ of that sort. The federal public defender advising Olson on the 'find', didn’t immediately return an Associated Press phone message. Olson himself was also called, and he must have been too choked up to come to the phone. They must be so overwhelmed at their good fortune, that they have no words to express their thoughts. Brings a tear to my eye.

Take that Leno and O’Brien. New Jersey has class. Even the Federal prosecutors know that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The More Things Change...

Some things have changed since the days when Washington was fighting the British in the colony of New Jersey.

Some things have stayed the same.

Today, our residents are leaving New Jersey in greater numbers than in years passed.

During Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, he and his troops were coming in to New Jersey to push back the Brits, rather than leaving.

Today, many towns in New Jersey have an overcrowding problem in their towns due to the scarcity of affordable housing. Looks like Washington and his troops also had an over-crowding problem in their boats, when crossing the Delaware.

Once thing is for certain: Back in Washington’s day, we were fighting the British because of taxes imposed by the King on the colonies. That has not changed much.

People still don’t like paying taxes, some 230 years later.

And we wonder why we're fodder for Jay Leno Jokes

Bon Jovi, preparing for 10 Newark shows, praises new arena

Newark, N.J. - The music of New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi battled with the din of saws and drills in the Prudential Arena Tuesday. The musicians were preparing for a series of 10 shows they'll be holding at the downtown Newark facility starting Thursday. The band is the first act to perform at the arena.

Years ago, when the now defunct Governor McGreevey was still Mayor McGreevey, he was in between runs for governor. It was some time in 1999/2000, that he was still traveling from Cape May to Ft. Lee and back again---going to every chicken dinner, political rally, summer time BBQ, senior citizen home, shaking hands and smooching NJ babies----all with the purpose of keeping his name and hope alive in order to run for Gov again in 2001. Little did we know what was happening on the GSP rest stops during those trips. But that is another story.

Then it happened: The now defunct Senator Torricelli announced he, too, may wish to run for Gov. After all, he told state Dems, McGreevey lost to Whitman, and the Party needed a fresh candidate with a statewide profile---so, I am your man. And for the next twelve days, the two men took to calling the state chairs.

Their calls burned the phone lines. As the Hunterdon County Chair back then before the turn of the century, I was the recipient of many calls. The battle waged fearlessly with promises, more promises, and even more promises. McGreevey disparaged the Torch and the Torch hit back hard. Their raging battle saw more twists and turns than Bush’s Iraq policy.

But then an endorsement came that turned the tide: The now defunct Mayor of Newark, Sharp James, came out and endorsed McGreevey. That gave McGreevey the edge he needed to spell disaster for Torricelli. The basis for that endorsement: McGreevey promised that as governor, he would support an arena to be built in downtown Newark.

Ballgame over. Torricelli over. McGreevey wins. McGreevey wins.

Now, it is seven years later, and the Prudential Area is a reality. Times have changed, though.

McGreevey is in preparation for entering the priesthood. Sharpe James is in preparation for trial. Torricelli is in real estate, political consultation, wahtever else, and writes on occasion for PoliticsNJ.

And the Prudential Area is set to open with Jon Bon Jovi, runner up to Bruce (who I would imagine they really wanted instead). With tons of traffic predicted for the opening nights, Bon Jovi will rock the stage to sold out shows, for this week at least. With the Nets going through the tunnels to Brooklyn in a few years, NJ will be minus one sports team to play at the new Arena----the only team that actually played in New Jersey, AND had the NJ title in their name.

So, it goes in NJ. And we wonder why we’re fodder for Jay Leno jokes. Maybe he should try Jay-walking on the streets of Newark. He would get an earful.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

All in The Cheney/Obama Family

So, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are eighth cousins.
Wow. You’re certainly not going to see them on the cover of Family Reunion magazine hugging each other.

But, here is what some of the late night talk shows had to say about the Cheney/Obama familial relations:

"Earlier this week, Vice President Cheney's wife said that Vice President Cheney is actually a distant cousin of Barack Obama. At first Obama was skeptical, then he remembered that his great-great-grandmother once had a demon out of wedlock."
--Conan O'Brien

"What a terrific audience we have. We have 500 people here tonight. We have straight people, we have gay people, we have white people, we have black people. It's like a Dick Cheney family reunion." --Jay Leno

"Dick Cheney and Barack Obama ... are eighth cousins. Isn't that amazing? Even more amazing, Dick Cheney, Darth Vader -- second cousins." --Jay Leno

"Did you hear that Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are cousins? It's strange, isn't it? In a related story, 20 years ago, it turns out Rudy Giuliani was briefly married to himself." --David Letterman

"Obama and Cheney are actually cousins, but Barack did not inherit the family sneer." --David Letterman

"Vice President Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne Cheney, said that Barack Obama and Dick Cheney are related. She said they are actually eighth cousins. ... Lynne Cheney says that Obama and Dick Cheney's connection was the result of one of Obama's ancestors marrying one of Cheney's ancestors in 1650. Even more interesting, you know who introduced them in 1650? Bob Dole." --Jay Leno

"If you'd like to find out if you're related to Dick Cheney, there's a very simple test. Here's what you do: You go out to a shooting range and if you can't tell the difference between a lawyer and a quail, you could be related." --Jay Leno

"Isn't that amazing, Obama and Cheney related? Dick Cheney now has more blacks and gays in his own family than in the entire Republican Party." --Jay Leno

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bad signs for Steve Lonegan

Maybe the immigrants help Americans for Prosperity be prosperous.

This observation prompted by the Bergen Record:

I wonder if Mayor Steve Lonegan sees the irony: He hires two illegal immigrants to help put together campaign signs. And for a guy touting such anti-immigration hysteria, that’s just so hypocritical.

Here’s the funny part: He hired the “cheap labor” of illegal immigrants for his group, Americans for Prosperity.

So it goes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Garden State vs. The First State

The Tale of the Tape:

In the northern corner, weighing in with a population of 8,717,925. The Garden State. A keg tapped at both ends. The Rodney Dangerfield of America ---the state that gets no respect, the birthplace of ‘The Boss”, the Chairman of the Board and the Genius in France ----the great state of New Jersey!

And in the southern corner, weighing in with a population of just 783,600; "The First State", "The Diamond State", "Blue Hen State" . And "Small Wonder". The Birthplace of Dr. Henry Heimlich and actress Valerie Bertinelli ----the great state of Delaware!

This is a grudge match over riparian or water rights that dates back to the 17th century. These two have met three times before. Their first bout, in 1877, resulted in a split decision. And in 1905 the result was a ‘compact agreement’. Finally, a 1935 Supreme Court ruling set the boundary at New Jersey’s low-water line “subject to the compact of 1905.”

So, this is the first time these two states have faced off mano a mano in front of the Supreme Court in more than one hundred years.

The folks from New Jersey say that the 1905 compact keeps New Jersey in control.

But the folks in Delaware claim that part of the river, known since Colonial times as the “12-mile circle,” and claims the land from its shore all the way to the low-water mark on the New Jersey side.

At stake: Who gets to control the New Jersey shoreline, and whether or not BP gets the thumbs up to build a $600 million terminal at Logan Township in Gloucester County to receive and process liquefied natural gas.

The bout will be held in D.C. on November 27th. Location: The Supreme Court.

Prediction: Take the Small Wonder and the points. Why: NJ gets no respect; the Garden State sends millions to DC and we get back fertilizer. And it is the Delaware River that is being discussed. 'Home' river advantage.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

“Shhh! Don't be so noisy!”

If you’re weight-challenged and have a voice that is volume-enhanced and have what can only be described as “a wide stance”, then there are only one of two choices:

1-You’re a relative of mine who recently attended my cousin Marvin’s wedding…


2-New Jersey Transit will be targeting your ilk for rudeness on trains. Starting very soon, there will be posters all over New Jersey attempting to remind people to be nicer on trains.

According to the AP story, one poster shows a woman whose mouth is wide open, appearing to be screaming, under the words "How many seats do you need?"

Another poster shows a man plugging his ears with his fingers under the words "I can't take the noise!"

"The posters are a social safety valve," said Doug Bown, president of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers told the Asbury Park Press. "Instead of having to initiate your case, you can point to the poster."

And, I am sure such an approach will work as well on New Jersey trains as it would with my family at cousin Marvin’s catered affair.

Yes, I am very sure that if my Aunt Lilly is yelling across the room to her sister Bella to ask how her son Melvin is back in New York, a quick point to a “Shhh! Don't be so noisy!” poster will shut her right up.

More likely, it will initiate a response of “Who the hell died, and made you the boss?”

As the Talmud says somewhere, “Do unto others…”.

The rest is just commentary.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

“You have to find the top dog, and punch him in the face.”

I get gas very often at the Hess Station in Flemington. There is a young man who pumps gas there named Jason, college-aged.

I asked him what he thought of the war in Iraq. And he told me his philosophy of politics:

“You have to find the top dog, and punch him in the face.”

Maybe not, but it seems pretty clear to me, Jason was talking about Bin Laden.
Brilliant in its simplicity, I thought.

Any questions for Jason? I will ask him for you --- next time I get gas there.

It’s no joke: The key difference between America and Poland

In America, our First Amendment Freedom of Speech extends even to dogs who insult the rich and famous -- Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

OK, he’s a dog-puppet on the hand of Robert Smigel, but that’s not the point.

Triumph has made the words “... for me to poop on!” a national catch phrase. Triumph has taken on the likes of rap star Eminem, actress Jennifer Lopez, and even Democratic political consultant Paul Begala. He appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards, including an exchange with Jennifer Lopez which MTV later removed from rebroadcast airings. He asked to smell her butt. She was not happy with Triumph.

However, no one can doubt that Triumph was merely asserting his Constitutional rights.

In Poland, however, dogs receive excellent protection from 'false' accusations. Real people in Polish politics cannot insult the dog of a nation’s leaders:
“A Warsaw court has ordered an opposition party to apologize publicly to the speaker of parliament for making what the court said were false claims about him and his dog in a campaign ad, a court spokesman said Thursday.

The the Left and Democrats claimed in a radio ad ahead of Oct. 21 general elections that Parliamentary Speaker Ludwik Dorn's schnauzer Saba destroyed furniture in government offices he used in his previous post as interior minister, and that Dorn had refused to pay for the damage.”

It seems that the Left and Democrats have appealed the ruling, forcing a delay of the apology.

The party's leader, Wojciech Olejniczak, defended his party's ad, saying it had taken its information from Wprost, and noting that the magazine has not rescinded that claim."
Seems like this could turn in to a major national affair, requiring American intervention. Maybe even bring back the Cold War. Call in the Marines. And tell them not to forget their pooper-scoopers.

Since we stick our nose in other people’s business all the time, maybe we should try mediation first.

Maybe Triumph should go over to Poland, and try to help them negotiate a settlement before Bush decides to send troops.

Maybe he could start by smelling Olejniczak’s butt.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize; Breaks the Democratic/Republican tie

From the New York Times:

"Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize" The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 on Friday totie former US Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations' climate panel, citing the importance of battling global warming.”

That makes
Democrats 3, Republicans 2.

We're now winning, breaking the Nobel Prize tie.

On the Democratic side:

Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace prize in 2002, “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

In 1919, Woodrow Wilson won, for being founder of the League of Nations.

And now, Al Gore and bringing the issue of global warming to the international scene. And he won an Academy award for the film, “An Inconvenient Truth”. Not bad.

On the Republican side: Teddy Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating the 1905 peace treaty between Russia and Japan after the Russo-Japanese War.

Oh, yeah, and Henry Kissinger won the Prize in 1973, sharing it with Le Duc Tho of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam for jointly negotiating the Vietnam peace accord.

And how many Republican presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize in the last 100 years?

Hmm, let see…None. Zilch. Zip. Nada. We have two wins.

Not even one Academy Award, either. And they elected a b-movie actor as president, too.

Go, Al. Thanks for being the tie breaker. Any thoughts on the 2008 Presidential race?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Anne Coulter: Shut up.

If you take time to re-arrange the letters of the words, “Shut up, Anne Coulter,” you get the phrase “Petulant or eunuchs”.

Sometimes, there is so much truth in re-arranged letters.

During the October 8 edition of CNBC's The Big Idea, with host Donny Deutsch, Coulter stated: "No, we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. ... That's what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws.”

What a total ass. And she is amazingly unapologetic in her assertions. Host Donny Deutsch took her comments as Anti-Semitic, and so do I.

When Duetsch asserted that he took offense at her comments, she questioned as to whether he was a practicing Jew or not. What a moron.

From an email from the New Jewish Democratic Council:

As you are probably well aware, Ms. Coulter has a long history of making comments that border on hate speech. She was fired from National Review in 2001 after calling on the U.S. to invade Muslim countries, "kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." In 2006 she wrote about 9/11 widows: "I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much."

Similarly, last December, a resident of Flemington wrote a letter about the current state of Christmas celebrations. She wrote to the Hunterdon County Democrat declaring, “We are a Christian nation, tolerant of all others.”

It was the writer’s assertion that because the Framers of the Constitution were Christian and that the majority of our population is Christian, that we are a Christian nation. I assumed that the writer also thinks ----given the same flawed reasoning ----that New Jersey is a Christian state; Flemington, a Christian town and perhaps her street is a Christian street. Go figure.

That is wrong on so many levels; I don’t even know where to begin. And I am an American. I do not need your 'tolerance', thank you very much.

Memo to Coulter and the Flemington writer:

Majority never means identity ---especially in America. That was not what the Framers had in mind, although closed minded Neanderthals like the two of you would like to think so.

People like Coulter, as well as the letter writer from Flemington, are what is wrong with the Christian right wing:
They both suffer from the narrowest possible viewpoint of society, and they are both superior in their ignorance, at that.

The rest of us need to be ever vigilant to this kind of point of view of America. Their ignorance goes round the nation faster and faster these days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Don't be such a crybaby (formerly cry-baby). The hyphen is no-more.

The new Oxford English Dictionary did something to the English language recently.

Something more horrific than all the mangled malapropisms of Archie Bunker, Norm Crosby or Prof. Irwin Corey combined.

The folks at the Oxford English Dictionary have "un-hyphenated" the English language ----that’s right. The hyphen for the most part is no-more. Or maybe it’s no more.

What’s next to go --- the comma, the question mark? Or perhaps: the colon. Maybe even the…ellipsis. "Quotes"? Maybe even the period will be cast off in to oblivion never to end a sentence ever again

According to Wikipedia, “The Oxford English Dictionary (OED)... is the most comprehensive dictionary of the English language…OED included about 301,100 main entries, comprising more than 350 million printed characters. It has 137,000 pronunciations, 249,300 etymologies, 577,000 cross-references, and 2,412,400 illustrative quotations.”

Wow! That's impressive! Ooops! Maybe the exclamation point is on their hit list, too!

Anyway, sounds like they really know their stuff. So why get rid of the hyphen? Does the small horizontal dash really bother the OED folks that much? What harm does a dash really do?

Some 16,000 words were either split in two, never to be connected by a little-dash-ever-again. And some words, once separated by a little dash, are now onebigcompoundword.

"People are not confident about using hyphens anymore, they're not really sure what they are for," said Angus Stevenson, editor of the Shorter OED.

Not confident? Is the self-esteem (or perhaps now it’s either selfesteem or maybe self esteem) of dash-users/dash users/dashusers really that much in jeopardy?

"Printed writing is very much design-led these days in adverts and Web sites, and people feel that hyphens mess up the look of a nice bit of typography," Stevenson continued. "The hyphen is seen as messy looking and old-fashioned…The whole process of changing the spelling of words in the dictionary is all based on our analysis of evidence of language, it's not just what we think looks better.”

You decide:

RECENTLY DIVORCED WORDS: Formerly hyphenated words split in to two words, never to be together again:

fig leaf

hobby horse

ice cream

pot belly

test tube

water bed

NOW, MARRIED FOREVER---Formerly hyphenated words unified as one now and forever:









Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Well, at least we’ve got A ‘Robert Levy’, if not THE ‘Robert Levy’.”

Now that Mayor Robert Levy has returned, Atlantic City can breath a sigh of relief.

The Mayor is back. Long live Robert Levy.

Or maybe not.

In his absence, the city's business administrator, Domenic Cappella, appointed himself acting mayor last week, claiming Levy verbally transferred power to him on Sept. 26.

That kind of transfer of power is a cross between the power grab on a Klingon Starship and when Alexander Haig in the Reagan White House declared “I'm in charge here".

Anyway, that got me thinkin’, ---wouldn’t it have been better if the City Council just found someone else named “Robert Levy” to take the Mayor’s place for a few days?

Could that have been any worse compared to not having a mayor at all? Then people could say, “Well, at least we’ve got A ‘Robert Levy’, if not THE ‘Robert Levy’.”

And, there are some very good 'Robert Levys' to choose from in New Jersey:

There my good friend and regular guest on the Howard Stern Show, the Reverend Bobby Levy. He’s a pretty funny comedian for the right New Jersey crowd, and couldn’t be any worse than that current Mayor. He's pretty raunchy sometimes, and that might be a good fit, at least for some in AC.

There’s the Robert Levy, “the lawyer who conceived the lawsuit that gutted [D.C.'s] tough gun-control statute.” He is a “staunch defender of the Second Amendment, a wealthy former entrepreneur who said he has never owned a firearm and probably never will.”

He’s a Constitutional Fellow with the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, so you know knows his politics.

And last but not least, there’s Robert I. Levy, “an American psychiatrist and anthropologist known for his fieldwork in Tahiti and Nepal and on the cross-cultural study of emotions. Though he did not receive a formal degree in anthropology, he spent most of his adult life conducting anthropological fieldwork or teaching in departments of anthropology.” As an anthropologist, he’s probably a good 'people' person, always a good skill to have in politics. Only thing is, he died in Italy in 2003. So it goes.

So, if the Mayor of AC ever splits again ----it’s a great bet that we have some good choices of other “Robert/Bob/Bobby Levys” to choose from.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Politicians, Those Lying Bastards


"A recent survey asked Americans how much faith they have in their leaders among other related questions.

One fifth of those polled said they have absolute faith in the President and Congress. Interestingly
enough, those same people were unable to locate the United States on a map.

Another 13 percent believe that the President has been completely honest during his two terms in office.
Those 33 percent also believe the official version of the events surrounding September 11, 2001, and that Sadam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction.”

The story is also listed as being a parody, and entirely ficticious.

Strange, but true.

Gasp! But it seems real enough that people have very little faith in their elected officials, especially after being lied to about the Iraq War.

And to pour salt in to the wound even further, the Supreme Court of Washington (the state, not the Capitol) says it’s OK for politicians to lie. It’s that damn First Amendment, darn it.

Something about not letting the government determine which version of a political claim by a politician is the ‘official truth’.

That should certainly raise the respect that voters have of politicians.

Funny how that word "LIE" is right darn smack in the center of the word "politician".

So, now it’s up to the wisdom of the electorate, I guess to clear up the whole mess.

So, do what my good friend Spook Handy says in his song "VOTE" , and get your butt in the booth and vote.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

New Take on Immigration Issue ---Citizenship Test for everyone?

There have been lots of stories in the news these days about how all the illegal immigrants who have come across the boarder from Mexico have ‘jumped the line'.

How it is just not fair to those who have waited years to come to America.

Of late, most of the Republican presidential candidates have a taken a very strong line on the immigration issue. But, I thought that most Republicans respected and championed those who tried hard to avoid the government bureaucracy...

With the exception of McCain [who got skewered earlier this year for his support of the compromise immigration bill, setting his presidential aspirations back quite a bit], the Repubs' likely immigration solutions may range from building a wall/fence/whatever between the U.S. and Mexico to shipping them all back home in the back of the truck they came in on.

However, there is an interesting new take on the immigration issue.

And also, there has been a new citizenship test developed, that some say is a bit more difficult for new immigrants:
USCIS is taking a systemic approach to making the test more meaningful, one that follows a basic U.S. history and civics curriculum. The testing process goes well beyond a set of test questions; it includes a variety of study materials and opportunities for immigrants to expand their knowledge in the areas covered on the test and civics content beyond the test itself.
Take the test on your own, and see for yourself. And remember, if you’re already a citizen, you should know the answer.

If you cannot provide the correct number of answers, maybe you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the boarder fence one of these days.

Friday, October 5, 2007

What's the difference between a Republican and a Democrat?

[I am reprinting here, an excellent article by Paul Krugman of the New York Times. This illustrates the difference for me between the values of Democratic Party and Republican Party. It is very instructive.]

Conservatives Are Such Jokers


Published: October 5, 2007
New York Times.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy, who had been shocked by the hunger he saw in West Virginia, made the fight against hunger a theme of his presidential campaign. After his election he created the modern food stamp program, which today helps millions of Americans get enough to eat.

But Ronald Reagan thought the issue of hunger in the world’s richest nation was nothing but a big joke. Here’s what Reagan said in his famous 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing,” which made him a national political figure: “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.”

Today’s leading conservatives are Reagan’s heirs. If you’re poor, if you don’t have health insurance, if you’re sick — well, they don’t think it’s a serious issue. In fact, they think it’s funny.

On Wednesday, President Bush vetoed legislation that would have expanded S-chip, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, providing health insurance to an estimated 3.8 million children who would otherwise lack coverage.
In anticipation of the veto, William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, had this to say: “First of all, whenever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it’s a good idea. I’m happy that the president’s willing to do something bad for the kids.” Heh-heh-heh.

Most conservatives are more careful than Mr. Kristol. They try to preserve the appearance that they really do care about those less fortunate than themselves. But the truth is that they aren’t bothered by the fact that almost nine million children in America lack health insurance. They don’t think it’s a problem.
“I mean, people have access to health care in America,” said Mr. Bush in July. “After all, you just go to an emergency room.”

And on the day of the veto, Mr. Bush dismissed the whole issue of uninsured children as a media myth. Referring to Medicaid spending — which fails to reach many children — he declared that “when they say, well, poor children aren’t being covered in America, if that’s what you’re hearing on your TV screens, I’m telling you there’s $35.5 billion worth of reasons not to believe that.”

It’s not just the poor who find their travails belittled and mocked. The sick receive the same treatment. Before the last election, the actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s and has become an advocate for stem cell research that might lead to a cure, made an ad in support of Claire McCaskill, the Democratic candidate for Senator in Missouri. It was an effective ad, in part because Mr. Fox’s affliction was obvious. And Rush Limbaugh — displaying the same style he exhibited in his recent claim that members of the military who oppose the Iraq war are “phony soldiers” and his later comparison of a wounded vet who criticized him for that remark to a suicide bomber — immediately accused Mr. Fox of faking it.

“In this commercial, he is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He is moving all around and shaking. And it’s purely an act.” Heh-heh-heh.
Of course, minimizing and mocking the suffering of others is a natural strategy for political figures who advocate lower taxes on the rich and less help for the poor and unlucky. But I believe that the lack of empathy shown by Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Kristol, and, yes, Mr. Bush is genuine, not feigned.

Mark Crispin Miller, the author of “The Bush Dyslexicon,” once made a striking observation: all of the famous Bush malapropisms — “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family,” and so on — have involved occasions when Mr. Bush was trying to sound caring and compassionate.

By contrast, Mr. Bush is articulate and even grammatical when he talks about punishing people; that’s when he’s speaking from the heart. The only animation Mr. Bush showed during the flooding of New Orleans was when he declared “zero tolerance of people breaking the law,” even those breaking into abandoned stores in search of the food and water they weren’t getting from his administration.

What’s happening, presumably, is that modern movement conservatism attracts a certain personality type. If you identify with the downtrodden, even a little, you don’t belong. If you think ridicule is an appropriate response to other peoples’ woes, you fit right in.
And Republican disillusionment with Mr. Bush does not appear to signal any change in that regard.

On the contrary, the leading candidates for the Republican nomination have gone out of their way to condemn “socialism,” which is G.O.P.-speak for any attempt to help the less fortunate.
So once again, if you’re poor or you’re sick or you don’t have health insurance, remember this: these people think your problems are funny.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bush Speaks; Iran Listens

An Iranian University Invites Bush to Speak

After the controversial appearance of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University last week, an Iranian university yesterday invited President Bush to travel to Iran and speak on campus about a range of issues, including the Holocaust, terrorism, human rights and U
.S. foreign policy, the Fars News Agency reported yesterday. (10/2, Washington Post).

Obviously, Ferdowsi University of Iran has never heard Bush speak. Or maybe they have, and this is their way of getting a first strike at the U.S.

Who wins the speech wars? Ahmadinejad or Bush? Their President or ours?

We’ll provide; you decide!

Here is what Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says:

• The Holocaust is a myth.

• The Jews as the sworn enemies of Islam. The hostility dates back to the time of Muhammad’s own treatment of the Jews in Medina.

• He wants Israel to be wiped out of the map or transferred to Europe.

• In his speech at the UN general assembly, he claimed that during his speech of some twenty odd minutes, a powerful light enveloped him and all participants were held transfixed unable to move their eyes.

• He believes that the earth is Allah’s and all people must either become believers of his brand of Islam or must perish as infidels najis (unclean) who by their very presence defile Allah’s earth.

All-righty, then.

Here is what our President George W. Bush says:

'Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.'

'I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.'

'They misunderestimated me.'

'Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?'

"The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done." –

"This morning my administration released the budget numbers for fiscal 2006. These budget numbers are not just estimates; these are the actual results for the fiscal year that ended February the 30th."

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.

"I said I was looking for a book to read, Laura said you ought to try Camus. I also read three Shakespeares. ... I've got a eck-a-lec-tic reading list."

So, there you go readers! YOU decide: Who has the upper hand?
The President who is a moron? Or the President who is completely out of his mind?

Email me to let me know.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Micheal Medved defends slavery

Just when you think that the Right-Wing looney tunes could not get any worse, movie critic-radio talk show host- right wing apologist Michael Medved defends the institution of slavery.

That's right: slavery.

Wonder why the Republicans don't get the support of the African-American population?

This is care of Nicole Belle at her blogpost on, who gives us the salient points made by Medved in a post at

1. Slavery was an ancient and universal institution, not a distinctively American innovation.

2. Slavery existed only briefly, and in limited locales, in the history of the republic - involving only a tiny percentage of the ancestors of today’s Americans.

3. Though brutal, slavery wasn’t genocidal: live slaves were valuable but dead captives brought no profit.

4. It’s not true that the U.S. became a wealthy nation through the abuse of slave labor: the most prosperous states in the country were those that first freed their slaves.

5. While America deserves no unique blame for the existence of slavery, the United States merits special credit for its rapid abolition.

6. There is no reason to believe that today’s African Americans would be better off if their ancestors had remained behind in Africa.

Simply amazing; This deserves no comment.

The McGreeveys disagree yet again: She uses MapQuest; he uses MapBlast.

The McGreeveys are in the news again. They cannot agree on where to meet to drop off their daughter, Jacqueline. [Yawn].

Here’s what the ex- Mrs. McGreevey has to say: The distance between her home in Springfield and the Ex-Governor’s home in Plainfield is a whopping 9.63 miles. That’s some mighty fine figurin’. She must be using GoogleEarth.

The Ex-Gov suggested that his daughter be delivered to a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Clark. Maybe he wants to check out how his book sales are doing.

The Barnes & Noble drop-off spot would save McGreevey 3.49 miles and seven minutes ---after all he needs his time to get back to his studies to become a priest. However, that would add 8.71 miles and 17 minutes to her transportation time, Dina said.

Caught in the middle the daughter.

Perhaps they should just leave the child with Britney Spears. Oops, perhaps not.

Doing my duty as a good mediator, and New Jersey resident who wishes to see this issue off the front pages, ---I make the following five suggestions of where to meet to exchange Jacqueline. They may not be convenient places, but they are more fun than a bookstore.

1- The Stone Pony, Asbury Park.

I was never a big Bruce fan, but I played the club once as a stand-up comedian opening for Buster Poindexter.

If either Jim or Dina are late, there are lots of pictures of Bruce in his younger days to look at on the walls of the club.

2- Lucy The Elephant

Lucy is the world's largest elephant, and the only one in America designated as a National Historic Landmark. Maybe I don’t get it because I am from NYC. Especially an elephant that is a national landmark in a Democratic state. Go figure. But it will give Jacqueline a life lesson of the other side of the political aisle.

3- The Flemington Courthouse.

I would be remiss if I did not recommend the place where the Lindbergh Baby Trial took place, in my hometown.

Dina can do some outlet shopping, Jim can check out the bar at the Union Hotel. And possibly, Jacqueline, can feel lucky that at least she was not kidnapped.

4-Palisades Interstate Park, the New Jersey Section.

Great views of NYC. You can see the tip of Manhattan, and the way the island used to be back before we bought it for $24 in trinkets. Oh, also at night it is a great place to make out in a car. Oops, guess McGreevey does not need to know that.

5-Cape May Lewes Ferry, Cape May.

Beautiful views of the Atlantic. And you can take the ferry to Delaware, if you need to leave the state in a hurry.

There you go; hope it’s helpful.

Monday, October 1, 2007

How many men does it take to make popcorn?

Congress and the president disagree on the war. And the president is about to veto a bill that will increase the funding for medical coverage for children. And now Congress and the president have parted company on another issue of national importance: protecting workers who make popcorn.

Congresswoman Sutton of Ohio: “The lack of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard on diacetyl has endangered the health of families. That is why we have to act today. Workers should never have to choose between their health and feeding their families."

The word from The White House via Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.: "We believe that it's important to give OSHA time to complete a scientific study of diacetyl exposure and to issue a recommended exposure limit for the use of that chemical. Without a complete study, Congress may push manufacturers to use different chemicals that could be even more directly responsible for diseases."

The workers inhale the chemical “diacety” during the popcorn manufacturing process, and it causes ‘bronchiolitis obliterans’ ---also called popcorn lung. No, really.

And leading the charge to solve the problem is our very own South Jersey Congressman, Rep. Robert Andrews: "OSHA has not acted, so today we will.”

He supports legislation that will “institute air monitoring, medical surveillance and safety labeling; and require the wearing of protective clothing and equipment for workers exposed to it.”

Congress passed the legislation; the Senate has yet to consider it.

But along with stopping the war, spending more on children’s health, the president will probably veto this bill, too.

Maybe he hates pop corn and pretzels.

And the answer to the riddle is: Three. One to hold the pan and two others to act macho and shake the stove.