Friday, May 30, 2008

Bush has made saying dumb things “IN”

Our good friend Daniel Kutrzman scours the late night talk shows for the funniest lines from the top comedians.

He also reports periodically on the oddest things said by the presidential candidates. Now that we’re still down to just three candidates, here are some of the odder moments:

10. "I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go." --Barack Obama, at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon.

When he gets back to wearing the flag lapel pin, maybe he should count how many stars on the flag.

9. "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should. I've got Greenspan's book." --John McCain, in an interview with the Boston Globe.

Seems like he understood it well enough, when he was one of the Keating Five.

8. "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists." --Hillary Clinton, after being asked by George Stephanopoulos about economists' claims that her gas tax holiday proposal would not bring down gas prices.

If she understands economics the same way she is touting her own campaign numbers, then we are all in trouble.

7. "Why can't I just eat my waffle?" --Barack Obama, after being asked a foreign policy question by a reporter while visiting a diner in Pennsylvania.

'Waffling' is not good for presidential candidates...or presidents.

6. "You know that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran? Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran." --John McCain, breaking into song after being asked about whether it was time to send a message to Iran.

Wow---McCain listens to the only group from the Sixties actually still younger than he is.

5. "Hold on one second, sweetie, we're going to do -- we'll do a press avail." --Barack Obama, to a female reporter for ABC's Detroit affiliate who asked about his plan to help American autoworkers.

Come on, sweeties, he was just being nice.

4. "It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." --Barack Obama, explaining his troubles winning over some working-class voters.

Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth. Lillian Hellman (1905 - 1984).

3. "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I just, I don't understand it." --Hillary Clinton, on why she is staying in the race.

'...I just don't understand it' ??? Don't understand what? One of the most insensitive things I have ever heard in a political race. And, strangely enough, from Hillary it seems almost like a planned 'gaff'. She is just too smart for it not to be.

2. "Make it a hundred...That would be fine with me." --John McCain, to a questioner who asked if he supported President Bush's vision for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq for 50 years.

Well, when you're his age, 100 years may not seem like a very long time, perhaps.

1. "I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base." --Hillary Clinton, on visiting Bosnia in 1996, contradicting other accounts that said there was no threat of gunfire. Clinton later said she "misspoke".

No, not 'sniper fire', but perhaps, 'liar, liar...pants on fire.'

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New jersey Peace Action et al v Bush

Last week a group of Rutgers Law students, led by the legendary Frank Askin, did something very interesting, but not covered much in the main stream press: they filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Newark accusing Bush of conducting an illegal war in violation of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit asserts that only Congress may declare war.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of New Jersey Peace Action, and members of the New Jersey Chapter of Military Families Speak Out. Good for them. It’s about time someone did something sane regarding this war, with the Democrats in Congress lacking a backbone to do anything substantive.

Some interesting points for conservative Republicans who support this war AND the U.S. Constitution:

1- At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, the framers made it abundantly clear that they wished to deny the president the power to make war independently of Congress.

2- The lawsuit cites Supreme Court rulings from the 19th century that an ‘all-out’ war could only be declared by Congress, and that Congress could only authorize the president to conduct a ‘quasi’ or ‘limited’ war.

According to New Jersey Lawyer, “the plaintiffs seek a declaration that the president’s unilateral decision to launch a full-scale invasion without congressional approval is ‘capable of repetition’.
My neo-conservative buddies just love to quote the Federalist Papers when it comes to interpreting the Constitution. Like in Federalist No. 69, which stated that a president’s war making power should be “much inferior” to that of a king.

Or Federalist No. 26, which said that Congress should have the power to declare war by a formal vote, and be required to explain their vote to constituents.

Good work, Rutgers.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Voting early and often. Too often.

There seems to be less interest in the New Jersey Senate race, than there is me pitching next weekend for the New York Yankees against the Twins. Now, the Twins are in second place in the Central Division, while the Yankees are dead last in the East. And I guess I couldn’t pitch any worse than them into last place.

Democrats have, of course, Andrews versus Lautenberg: You’d think that a race that had candidates with such pronounced differences--- a progressive versus a conservative, southern NJ versus northern NJ, age versus youth ----would get people interested. But not so.

Republicans: Three very different candidates. Pennacchio. Zimmer. Sabrin. It’s like the Id, Ego and Superego of politics. Unhappy with Jersey Joe, some Republicans have changed candidates more often than the price of gas changes on Route 1. With the conservative cry of “From Esterbrook to Unanue to Zimmer”---that sounds like the infield double play combination of the Somerset Patriots.

Call it election fatigue: We will have asked New Jersey voters to go to the polls [in some towns] five times since last fall:
  • November 2007 [regular state elections]
  • February 2008 [Presidential primary]
  • April 2008 [school board elections]
  • May 2008 [non-partisan towns]
...and now June 3rd. That’s a lot of democracy.

Combine that with the day in day out never ending Obama/Clinton race in the news constantly, I think voters are simply tired of the whole primary process. Even if Obama/Clinton ended this week, the Obama/McCain or Clinton/McCain race would begin immediately, with the conventions this summer.

According to Newsday, and Ingrid Reed of the Eagleton Institute, the prediction is that less than 15% of the electorate will decide the nominees.

Now, that's some democracy. Too few voters, voting too many times.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Seven for the 7th.

Rome was built on Seven Hills. And, [at least] for last night, Mountainside, NJ was built on the seven Republican candidates for Congress in the 7th District.

Seven for the 7th. And come June 3rd, only one of them will roll the lucky number seven and be the winner. But which?

And so, I attended the packed house last night for what will probably be the final mass debate between [amongst?] the Republican candidates for the 7th congressional district in central Jersey. Every candidate was in their respective chairs right at 7:30pm on the dot, except for Tom Roughneen, who arrived fashionably late at 7:444pm. So the former military man can’t tell time? Or is there too much traffic on Route 22? Maybe traffic in the district is an issue that should be dealt with. But Roughneen was in time for his first question, and came out battlin' right away.

WordPlay: The top seven most often said words/phrases from last night’s debate:

[1] Taxes, [2] Linda Stender, [3] conservative, [4] pro-life, [5] Iraq, [6] tax cuts, and [7] the ever present, “family values”.

And some new fangled phraseology:

From Mayor Marty Marks---'across-the-board' conservative, as opposed to just plain old 'conservative' or the now ancient 'compassionate conservative'.

From A.D. Amar, calling himself a 'shoestring' conservative, for running his campaign on a 'shoestring' budget.

Also, the least frequently said phrase was from Kelly Hatfield---“We live in a global world”. Duh. She also said that the most important issue in the race for her was that “North Plainfield needs their own zip code”. Most of the night Hatfield sounded like the Miss South Carolina teen that was asked why Americans had trouble reading maps. Not ready for prime time.

There were barbs thrown, occasionally.

Here is the barb scorecard:

By Mayor Marty Marks at Senator Leonard Lance and former first daughter Kate Whitman: Topic: For being “moderates”, and not being ‘conservative’.

By Tom Roughneen at Senator Leonard Lance. Topic: For being endorsed by the Sierra Club, and accused the Senator of wanting ten dollar a gallon gasoline.

[Only to neo-con Republicans would be being ‘moderate’ or endorsed by a leading environmental group be considered worthy of attack.]

By Kate Todd-Whitman-Annis [whew!]. Topic: At all the candidates for attacking her for being a “Whitman”.

[Former first mother Governor Christie Todd Whitman was ‘in da house’, cheering her first daughter on, flying in from a trip to Beijing. Now that's motherly love.]

[Once again, Whitman the younger was noticeably passionless, and filled with political clichés. She went on and on touting her “Six Point Plan” to set Congress right----points that sound as if they were taken point by point from the playbook
of the other six candidates.]

By Kate Whitman, at all the candidates: Topic: For voting for tax increases, including Marks and Hatfield.

[Note to Katie: Dr. Amar, Tom Roughneen and Darren Young have never held office, and therefore have never voted for tax increases]

Mayor Marks, at Whitman and Roughneen. Topic: For not ever having been elected to anything, but criticizing himself and Hatfield for raising taxes in their respective towns.
“Walk a mile in my shoes, first”, chided the Mayor. “Or get elected to a local office first.” Point well made.

Libertarian and self-described Sabrin for Senate running mate, Darren Young. At, well, himself. Topic: He asserted that he was a direct descendent of President John Adams, and declared that he “…would have had the endorsement of Adams…I think.”

[You can never tell if you’re gonna get the support of family members---especially if they’re dead.]

Noticeably , Senator Lance noticeably kept above the fray. Being the probable leader in the group will compel one to do just that.

Overall, it was a fun evening of political merriment. The format was a bit freaky---just one hour of “debate” for seven candidates and not a question allowed from the packed crowd. Two minutes per answer per candidate allowed for only a very brief glimpse in to the minds of each Republican. Maybe a run-off election should be statutory in such circumstances.

Shout out to Max Pizzaro of PolitickerNJ, whom I read everyday and got to meet for the very first time.

Enjoy the freedom to think, speak, blog, and chat this Memorial Day weekend, remembering all those who gave their lives so we can live free. Thanks, dad.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rockem Sockem Republicans

This Thursday night there is a debate between the Republican candidates for the 7th Congressional District. While Linda Stender has been focused on organizing her base of support and filling her campaign war chest, the Republicans have been playing Rock’em Sock’em Robots with each other.

I will be there, hopefully live-blogging.

Former First Daughter Kate Whitman has been attacking the cr#p out of Senator Leonard Lance, her [former?] family friend, with 12 waves of mail pummeling his record. How they mend fences on their side after that kind of race may be a good lesson for Obama/Clinton. She’s got mucho bucks, and has been using them to add some mud to the race.

I have not been able to get my hands on any of the hate-mailers targeting Senator Lance ---not being a Republican; I am not on their prime mailing list. And my Republican friends in Flemington [the Senator’s home turf] have not kept the mailers long enough for me to get a copy. As a good Republican friend [unnamed, though] said to me, “When I get that crap, it goes right into the recycling bin.” Good thing she is recycling.

So, the others in the race are not getting much press, especially Iraq War veteran, Tom Roughneen. There is not one thing Roughneen and I agree on –he supports staying in Iraq until the “job is done”; he supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion, and supports extending the Bush tax cuts. However, he seems to be a bright and genuinely passionate candidate who is a good man. Not at all your average run of the mill neo-con Republican. He will not win, but will be back in a future, perhaps more local, race.

Now, I am going to go out on a limb here, and make a prediction on a winner: Mayor Marty Marks of Scotch Plains.

While the good money is on Senator Leonard Lance, Marks has received the endorsement of the active Right to Lifers in the district. A low turn out, combined with a seven candidate field, sprinkled with pro-life activists working election day for Marks, with just a touch of the two top candidates splitting party regulars----I think will make for a Marks victory. With seven in the field, someone who gets 25% of the vote could come out on top.

Pity the candidate who spent all their money, and came in second.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rules are Rules...unless you're George Clooney?

“If we had same rules as the Republicans, I would be the nominee right now,” Senator Clinton declared to the press.

From today's New York Times:

“The states that I’ve won total 300 electoral votes,” she told about 300 people in a high school gymnasium in Maysville [Ky.], the birthplace of the actor George Clooney. “The question is who can win 270 electoral votes? My opponent has won states totaling 217 electoral votes.”

As she has in the past, she discounted Mr. Obama’s victories in caucus states and states likely to vote Republican in November, ticking off Alaska, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas and Idaho. “Many of his votes and delegates come from caucus state which have a relatively low turnout,” she said.

“Right now more people have voted for me than have voted for my opponent,” Mrs. Clinton said, without explaining how she reached that arithmetic certainty.
This, of course, comes from the same person who has not followed the DNC rules up till now, regarding Florida and Michigan. What makes her so sure that she would have followed a 'winner take all' rule, anyway?

But the real question is, why does the New York Times feel compelled to let us know that Mrs. Clinton gave her speech in a town famous for George Clooney.

Jersey Joe has trouble with brother in Brooklyn

Not since Ralph Kramden's last scheme with Ed Norton, has a guy got in to this much trouble in Brooklyn.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn with my brothers, and I will tell you it is one tough town for Republicans. Back in the day, the Brooklyn September primary was the election, and not a Republican could get elected. NY does their primary in the fall, rather than in June---a shorter campaign season, but a longer primary hall. Six of one, half dozen of the other, I guess.

So, it is not surprising that the “leader”in the Republican primary for the NJ Senate race---Joe Pennacchio--- has some problems with his Brooklyn boys. Funny, how each candidate---Zimmer [who could not get his own county’s endorsement] and Sabrin [who has ticked off a good majority of the county organizations] each call themselves the “leader”. The Republicans all have that hard ‘spin’ to the right.

It seems that according to a report by the Star Ledger, Pennacchio and his brother owned an old run down apartment building in Brooklyn in Coney Island. Yes, there are plenty of run down apartment buildings in Coney Island, but this one is special: Jersey Joe failed to report the building as an asset as required by law on his mandatory financial-disclosure report. Oops, watch that first drop on the Cyclone, Joe. It’s a doozy.

Pennacchio reportedly made $285,000 when he sold the property just a few months ago. That’s a lot of Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Hot Dogs. However, Joe did not list the dough in documents filed last week with the U.S. Senate. He did file an amendment to last week to correct the error.

According to the Star Ledger, Jersey Joe said “that he regrets ever getting involved with the Coney Island property because it has been nothing but trouble during the last 20 years.”

Ouch, sounds like he's really dissing the Lords of Flatbush.

One good thing out of all of this: Jersey Joe will most certainly be able to save the ten buck toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge—because he won’t be going back to Brooklyn very soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Aha! Then I remembered, I am a comedian.

My favorite folk singer is the late great Phil Ochs, who departed this earth in 1976. He was the quintessential folk singer, always ranting more than raving. While others fawned over Bob Dylan, I was moved by the words, music and voice of Phil Ochs. If you’re unfamiliar with him you can check out live concerts recorded in the 1960s through the miracle of YouTube.

Ochs offered snappy patter between his songs. When confronted with a particularly onerous political issue that confronted his sense of justice, he would ponder out loud to his audience, “But, what can I do about this? Aha! And then I remembered! I am a folk singer!”

And he would sing his well-crafted song to provoke, evoke and inspire his audience to ‘think’ and ‘do’.

So, I take inspiration from Ochs: There are many candidates, many issues confronting New Jersey. Prey tell, what can I do, just a humble citizen? Aha! But then, I remembered, I am a comedian. I can write comedy material attacking those amongst us who are conservative Republicans; those who support this war and wish to expand it; those who oppose national healthcare, clean air, clean water, etc, etc. etc.

And finally, I can offer my stand-up comedy and keynote speaker services to any and all Democratic candidates free of charge for political fundraisers through the fall. Yup, call me up and we’ll raise some money for your local Democratic Party or progressive candidate with a gosh darn funny comedy show. And, sometimes, I can even bring with me some good funny comedian friends who are also progressive Democrats. Many of these folks have appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, the Tonight Show and the Late Show.

In the past, we have done this kind of comedy show to support the campaigns of Jon Corzine, Senator Bob Smith, Senator Bob Menendez, and even the fine folks at the ACLU of New Jersey. And it would be my pleasure to see if we can help your group of Democratic candidates raise some bucks, too.

Call it my way of spreading punch lines for progressive politics in NJ.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Leonard Lance opposes Paid Family Leave

At a recent Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce breakfast Republican candidate for Congress, Senator Leonard Lance, declared that he was "saddened" by the passage of the Paid Family Leave legislation. He not only asserted that the legislation would be bad for the New Jersey economy, but he was personally "saddened" by it.

An odd word to use, I thought. But specifically chosen. If Senator Lance is anything, he is a critically thinking word-smith. By using such a word, the Senator separates himself from the other Republicans who opposed Paid Family Leave merely on an economic basis. Indeed, he shows us his 'compassionate human' side, too. He is the Republican who genuinely cares.

Now, I have known the Senator for many years, and he has been a good friend and personal acquaintance. I had the pleasure of having known his father, Wesley Lance, the late Senator and former Acting Governor. Both men are gifted politicians and very bright policy wonks ----a rare combination. However, Mr. Lance has come down on the wrong side of this issue.

Mr. Lance is by and large a good thinker, and is a moderate on most social issues. But he is in a political party that presently abhors social liberals. Most liberal Republicans will use an open hand and call themselves "social moderates", but pound their fists and shake their fingers, and call themselves "fiscal conservatives" ----all to avoid using the dreaded "L" word. And Lance is no different.

New Jersey's Paid Family Leave Act kicks in January 1st 2009, when
"New Jersey workers taking family leave can get two-thirds of their wages up to $524 a week for as much as six weeks a year. The Legislature estimates the plan will cost workers $33 a year and be used by about 38,000 employees, or 1 percent of the state’s workforce.
The fear from the business community is that New Jersey will become less competitive by this "imposition" on the small business community, that businesses will be driven elsewhere. The California experience with Paid Family Leave has proven differently.

The business community---
New Jersey Chambers of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses----argue that the impact will hurt small businesses. Of course, they never seem to make the argument that by making New Jersey more friendly to working families, that might actually attract more of a productive labor force.

To his credit, Lance
did mention [albeit very briefly] that perhaps such legislation should be considered by the Federal government, so that states that have Paid Family Leave would not be at a disadvantage to those who do not. Was that Lance's 'liberal' side speaking? Does that portend to the possibility that if he were elected to Congress, and if a Federal Paid Family Leave bill was before Congress, he would join the Democratic majority in supporting such legislation? Maybe so.

But there are many political hurdles between now and then. Either way, Lance must first get the nomination, and there are too many rank and file Republicans who oppose Paid Family Leave for Senator Lance to allow his 'liberal'/'moderate' side to show. At least until the fall.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Duh, part deux.

Here is what John McCain has to offer the American people, according to today's New York Times:

McCain Says Troops May Be Home by 2013

"Senator John McCain’s projection in a speech on Thursday is a striking departure from his refusal so far to set a date for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq."

Double Duh.

2013? Five more years? That's at least another half a trillion dollars, and who knows how many more troops returning in body bags to Dover, DE.

John McCain's perspective on the war is emminently clear, and it does not jive with the American people. There needs to be a renewed effort on educating people on the local cost of this war to the towns in New Jersey, town by town.


This just in from the New York Times:

May 15, 2008:

"After three losses in special Congressional races, some senior Republicans urged their party’s candidates to distance themselves from President Bush."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Andrews comes to Hunterdon County

Congressman Rob Andrews made an appearance to the Democratic Party in Hunterdon County last night, and made an appeal for support. He is making his way around the state in town hall meetings, a very effective way of getting support.

While the bar is high for the congressman to get the nomination, he did chip away at support for Senator Lautenberg.

There are some noticeable differences right off the bat: Lautenberg is much more politically progressive than Andrews. Case in point is Andrew’s support of the Defense of Marriage Act; his immediate jump on the bipartisan bandwagon in support of the Iraq War, and his support the bankruptcy bill which makes it harder for those under the financial gun to get their lives in order, and easier on credit card companies.

Now, Rep. Andrews has always been a good friend to my home county of Hunterdon, with both financial help and sage political advice . He has been there a lot, even when he was not seeking higher office. When I was running for freeholder back in 1995, Andrews came to speak a Hunterdon brunch and we became friendly. He was willing to give me his counsel as a former freeholder himself, and was generous with his time. When I became the Hunterdon County Chairman, he sought my support in his run for governor.

After that race in 1997, the Congressman was not seen much around the state for a while, mostly, I assume for his disappearing act during the McGreevey campaign. Whether his help would have been able to push McGreevey over the top is an issue buried in the sands of past NJ political races, indeed. However, it is still an issue on the minds of longstanding Democrats for sure.

That was the one question I got to ask: Would he support Frank Lautenberg should he become the candidate? His answer was an unequivocal ‘yes’.

And he mentioned the 1997 ‘mistake’ before anyone else did. Given enough time, and enough political need, almost any action can be forgiven. And in politics, forgiveness is more a necessity than a virtue.

Mostly the congressman talked about the war and the economy. Not that too many other issues were on people’s minds. Andrews was an early and strong supporter of the war, even lobbying for the support of other Democratic congressman. And unlike Senator Lautenberg who has played his presidential preferences close to the vest, Andrews has supported Senator Clinton from the start. There is a Clintonesqe ‘see which way the wind blows’ quality about his decision making at times; but perhaps no more or less than anyone else in NJ politics.

So, if Rep. Andrews wins the primary in a squeaker, I could support him. While Senator Lautenberg’s progressive political philosophy is closer to my own, there is enough that Andrews brings to the table that will make him a good Senator and worthy of support. And there is none amongst the thin and flimsy Republicans ---Zimmer, Sabrin or Pennachio, who could defeat Lautenberg or Andrews.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Today, Dick Zimmer called himself, “The Un-Lautenberg”.

He’s also the “Un-Torricelli and the “Un-Holt”. These are all the people Zimmer has lost to. Maybe he is also the Un-Yousouff, by this point. Joe Yousouff was the last guy Zimmer beat, waaay back in 1994.

Once unbeatable in his day ---but now, Dick Zimmer is so last century.

I don’t know what the Republicans were thinking when they thought of Zimmer, after Estabrook dropped out and the Goya Guy fizzled. Zimmer could not even win the line in his own county.

If you are a 30 year old voter, with a family and kids living in New Jersey and paying exorbitant amounts for gas and property taxes, you were 16 years old the last time Zimmer won an election. Does anyone outside of insider Republican Party hacks know who this guy is?

Zimmer told the Star Ledger that “I'm not promising I'll win the pork barrel game…[W]hat I want to do is make it possible for taxpayers to keep their money in the first place."

Of course, this is the case only if he is not working as a lobbyist and getting paid his piece of that pork barrel pig. Like the big bucks he made from working as a lobbyist for Hunterdon and Somerset Counties trying to stop the Highlands legislation -----where he porked-barreled his way to $15,000 a month. He failed at that effort: So, tell us, Dick---are you going to give back to the tax payers any percentage of that money you took on their behalf?

Zimmer complained that New Jersey gets fewer dollars from Washington than just about any other state, and that Senator Lautenberg is not bringing home the bacon. Dick---how can you be against pork barrel spending, take the big government contract dollars yourself when it suits you, and then complain that Senator Lautenberg isn't bringing back enough in pork barrel spending??

Another clueless wonder is Murray Sabrin, who keeps on calling for his opponents to drop out----while he drops campaign cash bet last weekend on the Kentucky Derby. And he calls himself the front runner. He is about as much of a front runner as the horse he bet on ---- Cowboy Cal---who galloped his way to a ninth place finish.

So, my prediction for the Republican Senate candidate race winner is Jersey Joe Pennacchio, who is running commercials with the catchy jingle. However, this Jersey Joe is out of his league, if he thinks he can beat either Andrews or Lautenberg. His current values seem to be in line with the "Nationalist Agenda" values he espouse back in the early 90's.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Political power couples.

The headlines this morning could not have been more confusing:

Star Ledger: “Discord turns to détente for McGreeveys”.

The New York Times: “Clinton to Fight On Despite Split Result”.

Wow! Did you ever think the McGreeveys would settle their differences before the Clinton/Obama folks settled theirs? Gotta love politics! Never a dull moment.

But, maybe, just maybe---there are more similarities between these two “political power” couples than meets the eye…

Jim McGreevey & Dina Matos McGreevey:

He wrote a book, then she wrote a book.

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton:

She wrote a book, and he wrote a couple of books.

JMcG & DM McG:

Engaged in a sexual threesome, with a former driver.


For a while, engaged in a political threesome with former Senator John Edwards.

JMcG & DM McG:

They don't love each other. Hmmm…wonder if they ever did.


They don't love each other. Hmmm…Wonder if they ever did.

JMcG & DM McG:

One of their spouses had an affair with a Jewish Israeli working for the New Jersey government.


One of their spouses had an affair with a Jewish American working for the Federal government.

JMcG & DM McG:

Were once a political power couple; and now they’re no longer speaking.


Now they’re no longer speaking, but if they got together, they could a political power couple.

JMcG & DM McG:

Both appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, seeking a book endorsement.


Both appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, but only one of them was endorsed by Oprah.

JMcG & DM McG:

One of them once had the support of Jon Corzine, but now, who knows…


One of them once had the support of Jon Corzine, but now, who knows…

JMcG & DM McG:

One of them is going to seminary college to become a minister.


One of them has a minister that should never have gone seminary college.

JMcG & DM McG:

Trying to figure who gets custody of their daughter, Jacqueline.


Trying to figure who gets custody the delegates from Florida and Michigan.

And finally…


Apparently, one of them is popular with college-educated males, the other with blue collar males.

JMcG & DM McG:

Apparently, one of them is popular with BOTH college educated males and with blue collar males.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's no joking matter

Last month the New Jersey Supreme Court apparently had no sense of humor: They declared an end to ethnic jokes in the workplace. The phrase "dirty Jews" will now be on the chopping block as no longer being acceptable.

Some may think that the Political Correctness Police have gone to far. But not this Jewish guy. It's about time, and it's sad to think that it takes the Supreme Court to do it, rather than being able to count on common sense.

The case that brought this to a head was Cutler v. Dorn, where a Jewish police officer claimed that he was in a hostile work environment due to the use of the racial epithet, "dirty Jew". This term was used by a co-worker in Culter's presence. Also, a German flag decal and an Israeli flad decal were placed on his locker.

Some may say that this is just harmless fun, busting chops, breaking balls. "Hey, we're just kidding!" might be the refrain.

Justice Virginia Long kept it short and sweet: The speaker "doesn't have to be hostile when making these statements. Water dripping on someone's head can create a hostile environment even if the person making those hostile statements isn't, quote, hostile himself."

Well put, Justice Long. No one should have to put up with a hostile work environment created by ethnic jokes.

And I am not kidding about that, either.

Round third and head for home.

The New Jersey State Bar Association has a high school mock trial competition each and every year. For the first time ever, no current New Jersey high school team won the competition. Aha, but there was a winner!

Who won? The Crossway Homelearners of Atlantic County, that’s who. They are the first home schooled team ever to win the competition.

They certainly did their home-work, I bet.

The Mock Trial Competition tried a criminal case involving a prep school swim coach and parent who was charged with reckless manslaughter in connection with the death of a child.

Second place went to Livingston High School; third place went to Colts Neck High School. All three teams will represent New Jersey next week in the Third Annual American Mock Trial Invitational in North Carolina.

Let’s hope they can bring home the bacon ---the trophy---to New Jersey.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Political Brain

In his book, "Don't Think of An Elephant", George Lakoff shares his wisdom about how the new conservatives---the 'neo-cons'--have more or less framed the debate on the many issues that we argue about on a day in day out basis. Progressives, he tells us, have traditional American values, but have been unable to state them very successfully or clearly to the electorate.

That book came out after the 2004 election and challenged how the Karl Roves have been very successful in framing the debate.

Now, four years later, we can only hope that progressives have learned something. To watch Senator Obama is proof that we have. However, to watch Senator Clinton, makes me think that she has learned more from Karl Rove. That, however, is for another blogpost.

If you enjoyed "Don't Think of An Elephant", then you may enjoy another book, too: "The Political Brain" by Drew Weston.

From Gov. Howard Dean:
“Drew Westen is a must read and must hear for any Democrat… In 2008 we will win the presidency if our candidate reads and acts on this book.
Everyone's brain works differently. Everyone takes in information differently:
The Political Brain shows how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years—such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can’t change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it.
Hopefully, progressives won't have to be reading about what went wrong with their message in '08, sometime in 2012.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Conan vs Jay vs Letterman: The best in Late Night Presidential Political Jokes.

The comedians and candidates collide. You decide:

"Barack Obama announced that after all the insulting comments and bitterness, he is severing his 20-year relationship with Reverend Wright. After hearing this, Bill Clinton said, 'Wait, you can do that with someone?'" --Conan O'Brien

"Kind of a big brouhaha with the Republicans going on here, because (Jenna Bush) said she wasn't sure that she was going to support McCain. She said she's 'open to learning' about the other candidates.' … But come on, this is kind of a treason in the Bush family. Not supporting a Democrat -- being open to learning. That's outrageous." --Bill Maher

"Hillary Clinton says she's willing to debate Barack Obama. This is what she said: anytime, anywhere, and would even meet him in the back of a truck. Yeah, which is surprising, because the 'anytime, anywhere, even in back of a truck' offer is usually made by Bill Clinton." --Conan O'Brien

"Hillary Clinton announced today she’ll appear on 'The O'Reilly Factor.' That should be a great confrontation. On one side, a loudmouthed bully who wants to tear apart the Democratic Party and on the other side, there's Bill O'Reilly." --Craig Ferguson

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Two New York Times Headlines from Today that Don't Seem to Go Together

For Exxon Mobil, $10.9 Billion Profit Disappoints

Consumer Spending Stagnates as Prices Rise
As we pay more and more for gas, Exxon makes more and more money.

And yet, they're disappointed.