Saturday, October 25, 2008

Their news is so much better...

There is an old Jewish joke:
In the 1930s, a story is told of a Jewish man, Rosenberg, who was riding on the subway in NYC, reading an Nazi propaganda newspaper. Goldstein, a friend of his, who happened to be riding in the same subway car, noticed this strange phenomenon. Very upset, he approached the newspaper reader.

Goldstein says, "Rosenberg, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading a Nazi propaganda newspaper?"

Rosenberg replies, "I used to read everyday, the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted, Jews being attacked, Jews being taken to concentration camps, Jews living in ghettos. So I switched to the Nazi propaganda newspaper. Now what do I find? Jews own all the banks, Jews control the media, Jews are all rich and powerful, Jews rule the world. Their news is so much better!"
That is exactly why I like listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham. Sometimes Mike Savage or Bob Grant although they're completely nuts.

They say over and over again how the liberals [or 'Libs' as Levin likes to say] control the media, the current polls, the banking industry, the entertainment media, unions, the newspapers. Their news is so much better than say NPR or Air America news.

Of course, they have Rovian code names for all these like "Main Stream Liberal" media [or for Rush it's the 'drive-by media'], the Hollywood Elite, the Big Unions, Femi-nazis. They tag Obama with terms like the Annointed One or The Messiah. Although it does puzzle me how those conservative folks like Limbaugh with huge ratings can claim that they themselves are not also 'Main Stream' media.

Lately, though, Limbaugh et al are getting nearly apoplectic over the Obama poll numbers.

They blame bad polling techniques. Limbaugh declared the Powell endorsement was "all about race", and nothing more. Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin have thrown every they can at Obama---calling him unpatriotic, a socialist, a radical, a radical socialist, liberal, leftwing, and 'that one'.

Limbaugh even so far as to call upon conservatives to visit the ailing stock market as Obama was visiting his ailing grandmother in Hawaii.

Limbaugh is losing it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yes We Can: Obama Campaign Sued for Trademark Infringement by National Canning Center

AP Newswire

It seemed like a natural phrase for a new, inspirational presidential campaign: Yes, we can. But, as it turns out, it has been the trademarked slogan for the National Center for Home Food Preservation and Canning ----the trade association folks in DC who advocate for the many ‘canning’ companies around the nation.

“It’s outrageous,” declared Homer “Deacon” Jones Jr., the president and grandson of the founder of the Intercourse Canning Company of Intercourse, Pennsylvania. “Over the years, we have suffered enough from the ‘Intercourse’ jokes. My father, Homer Sr, and his father, Malcolm before him, just took it all in stride. But when someone takes our prideful slogan, ‘Yes, we can!’ and usurps it for political purposes, well that makes my blood boil. That slogan is known all over the country for just one thing: Canning.” Mr. Jones was the President of the National Center for Home Food Preservation and Canning from 1996 – 2002.

Other canning companies around the country were similarly upset. “We have enough competition from the bottling companies, the cardboard manufacturers, and the plastic container folks. We really don’t need this right now,” added Lester Boyles, CEO of the Colusa Canning Company of Colusa County, California. “I support Obama and all, but, dang, don’t that beat all.” Mr. Boyles was one of the canning company executive presidents present at a “No, You Can’t” rally on a rainy Tuesday last week, which drew more than 35 people.

And that’s not all: The Obama campaign may be looking at a similar lawsuit on the international trademark front---this one from France. “Yes Oui Cannes”, it seems, is the newly minted slogan for the Cannes Film Festival. “Mon Dieu, c'est scandaleux!”, declared Jean-Luc Rudehomme, the spokesperson for the prestigious 62 year-old film festival set on the south of France.

In similar news, the semi-pro wrestler “Country Joe” Furst, 36, [born Joseph Furstenberger] of Calvin County, Oklahoma, upon hearing about the legal problems Obama may face, is considering a possible trademark infringement action against the McCain campaign. “It’s on my to-do list, right after my big cage match this weekend in Tuklsa,” shared Mr. Furst. “That’s outrageous. Using my name like that to popularize his presidential campaign.”

The McCain campaign could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Modernize the Debate Format

The first debate between presidential candidates in the modern era were the Kennedy-Nixon debates. Before those, and before TV, there was little demand for any type of debates between the presidential candidates.

The Lincoln-Douglas Senatorial debates of 1858 were actually the first nationally watched debates [ in the newspapers, at least]---mostly because of the hot button issue of the day of slavery. Those guys debated for hours at a time, with people watching, listening, and asking all the questions. "Mr. Lincoln, if you win the election, will you finally take off that big hat?"

No moderator. No lights. No sound bites or quips.

And those debates set up the national rematch just two years later when the candidates met again when running for President. NJ gave 4 Electoral votes to Abe and 3 to candidate Douglas, split the state north and south. Wow, even back then the south and the north had their differences!

And so with the high standards set for debating by Lincoln-Douglas and Kennedy-Nixon, we entered the debate negotiations this year. Choices: A standard debate with podiums and lights. Town hall format with candidates on high chairs, and answering questions of audience members. The candidates seated at a table, talking to each other and the moderator. All boring, with a capital B.

Suggested debate better formats:

Cage match, 'Thunderdome' style: Two candidates in, one candidate out. Both candidates get to swing from those elastic thingies, like in the Mel Gibson movie.

Play "Jeopardy" format: All answers must in the form of a question. For example "This is a nation we invaded for no particular reason".

Leno/Letterman and the Late Night Couch: Candidates talk about tell anecdotes about their childhood, plug their new book or an appearance on SNL, ask passersby some JayWalk questions and read a Top Ten list.

American Idol: Both appear in front of Simon, Paula and the other guy, and sing their economic programs. The home TV audience votes.

Stare contest: Both candidates stare at each other, and the first one to smile or laugh, loses.

and finally, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?----with all questions posed at the fifth grade level.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some advice for Lobbyist Dick Zimmer

According to a Fairleigh Dickenson poll, Senator Frank Lautenberg leads Lobbyist Dick Zimmer by 16 points, 50-34. 14 percent say they’re undecided.

So, if Lobbyist Zimmer by some amazing miracle can still somehow muster a coalition between his “Zimmer Supporters” and “The Undecideds” ----he will still be behind Frank Lautenberg 50-48. Where is the other 2% here? Where do they stand? Are they the Silent Minority? I am waiting for the poll folks at Fairleigh Dickenson to explain. I don't know.

However, there are more bad numbers for Lobbyist Zimmer: More than two-thirds of New Jersey’s most likely voters (71%) have no idea who Lobbyist Zimmer is. Have no opinion of him. More people have been to the Vince Lombardi Service Area, than know who Lobbyist Zimmer is. Tough to run in NJ if people have no idea who you are.

Now, the last time Lobbyist Zimmer won an election [in 1994], Clinton had not even met Monica Lewinskly; George W. Bush was not yet the Governor of Texas, and a baseball strike had canceled the World Series.

So, no wonder more people know who Gilligan is than Lobbyist Zimmer. He needs to learn how to be more popular.

So, here are some basic tips for Lobbyist Zimmer, courtesy of Wikihow, on “How to Be Popular”:

1. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone.
That means seeking the support of Democrats, as well as Republicans. Tough one, this year with Bush hanging around every Republicans’ neck.

2. Be friendly.
I have met you in Hunterdon County, and you seem like a friendly guy. Just maybe stop the “Where’s Frank?” schtick, though. It’s annoying people at diners.

3. You may see popular kids that can be very mean to others. Just try to ignore them.
This is what got you in trouble in 1996 in your race against Torricelli---you tried the ‘nasty campaign’ style of your fellow Republicans, and it did not work.

4. Talk to anyone and everyone who crosses your path.
A ‘gimmee’ in politics. Talk to people at train stations, bus stops, door-to-door

5. Stop thinking about yourself.
Tough one in politics. Electeds always think about themselves.

6. Give a helping hand.
You’re a Lobbyist. Duh.

7. Be yourself.
See number 3.

8. Don't say anything that would be laughed at, only say what you wouldn't care if anyone knew.
Perhaps a little bit more humor would actually help.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Four weeks and counting

Today we are exactly four weeks from Election Day, an election day that will be written about for years and years to come. It is a real choice between the future and the past. Between a man who has voted with George W. Bush more than 90% of the time; and someone who offered a real hope for change for the better.

I am supporting Barack Obama for a wide variety of reasons. And he was not the first choice on my list. I originally supported Governor Bill Richardson as I thought he was the Democratic candidate who offered the most experience in the race. When he dropped out, I was left with considering someone who had far less experience.

What turned me in to an Obama supporter was the same experience that turned me in to a Richardson supporter----a personal meeting with the candidate. Back in 2005, I had the opportunity to meet and speak to Governor Bill Richardson when I was a keynote speaker for the New Mexico League of Cities state conference. I found him intelligent, funny and personable.

The same with Senator Obama. I had the opportunity of meeting him on stage at a campaign rally for Jon Corzine for governor. We spoke for maybe ten minutes in a small group on stage, waiting for the event to begin. We talked of municipal issues, sprawl, high property taxes, financial challenges to small communities---all issues that confront New Jersey, as well as his home state of Illinois. I was impressed.

So, I continue to support Senator Obama, and look forward to his election in November. Makes me feel a little old, as he will be the first candidate I support who is younger than me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Poor Lobbyist Dick Zimmer*

I feel badly for Lobbyist Dick Zimmer*, Republican candidate for Senate. He cannot seem to get any campaign traction.

Lobbyist Zimmer*, in his quest to be the next Senator, has been doing what Paul Wellstone did when running against Rudy Boschwitz, going around the state at diners asking “Where’s Frank?”

Only thing is, Lobbyist Zimmer* lacks the campaign charisma, sincerity and progressive agenda that Wellstone ran on. Lobbyist Zimmer*: I have taken the Wellstone training, and you, Lobbyist Zimmer, are no Paul Wellstone.

Although he is trying to create a buzz, he seems to be mostly just annoying people trying to eat their lunch. Maybe Frank should go around NJ diners, and ask if anyone still knows Lobbyist Zimmer*......overheard at the Manalapan Dinner...

"Excuse me, folks, do you know where Frank Lautenberg is?"
"Can someone help this confused man, he's looking for the Senator..." "Maybe he's in DC working for NJ. Maybe you should drive down there..."
"Leave us alone...I would like to eat my chicken salad sandwich in peace."

Anyway, there is a debate set for November 1st, three days before the big day.

*Oh, by the way, I refer to Dick Zimmer with the title “Lobbyist”, because basically that is what he has been for the past twelve plus years or so. I know there are many in my neck of the Republian woods who refer to him as “Congressman”, because once you’re a member of Congress, you sorta retain the title forever. But he has been a Lobbyist much longer than he was a congressman [1992 -1996]; [Lobbyist 1997 – present].