Friday, March 14, 2008

Fair and Balanced, Take Two.

Also from the New Yorker, say hello to Obama's rival, Hillary Clinton.
I KNOW! I can't tell them apart either.
I just can't pick between the reflective guy in the casual clothes, or the Nazi gal on the donkey.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Obama Orders Lunch

Democratic front-runner Barack Obama ordered lunch today, in front of over 60,000 supporters at Lincoln Financial Field, in Philadelphia.

Mary’s Place Restaurant and Catering, of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, was reconstructed, straddling the fifty-yard line at the official stadium of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wendy Marder, a Mary’s Place server, asked the senator, “What would you like to have first?”

Unfazed, Obama replied, “Wendy, this is not about what I’m going to have first. It’s about people all over this country, in big towns and small-- from the purple mountains majesty, to the neighborhoods where people struggle to be heard -- it’s about all of us coming first, for the first time in a long time... How are the scallops?”

After a roar from the crowd, Marder informed Senator Obama that the scallops were “delicious.”

The senator ordered them, along with “a turkey melt, piled so high, and cooked so gently, that all Americans who are hungry will sit at this table, at a place reserved just for them, not for the old bitter Arkansas-style barbecue of the past, but for a new sandwich of consensus, where the cheese joins with the turkey, where the onions drip onto the bread. Because a sandwich divided cannot stand."

After a five minute standing ovation, Marder replied, “Oh, it’s a pretty good sandwich.”

For dessert, Obama set a new precedent, declaring, “Wendeh, surprise me.”

An aide just then appeared, reminding the senator that Pennsylvania is north of the Mason Dixon line. Obama swiftly made the adjustment.

“Wendy, surprise me. Because, whether it’s Mary’s famous Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie, Pineapple Mandarin Orange Cake, or one of the many surprises you bake every day here, or even if it’s a dish of sherbet, it’s important that each one of us gets to give voice to their creative spirit.

“And so, this afternoon, four score and seven minutes since we left the tarmac, it falls upon your shoulders, Wendy, to help us create a new nation, conceived in Liberty and allowing all bakers, chefs, waitstaff, and good old law abiding citizens, to innovate and bring whatever dessert they find it in their hearts to share.”

The crowd once again erupted, this time joined by a glittering Lincoln Financial Field fireworks display, after which Obama added,

"This is my meal, but I pledge today, that this meal will last as long as I serve in the Oval Office. Because I'll be there for you.

"I'll be all around in the dark. I'll be everywhere, wherever you can look. Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beating up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be there in the way kids laugh when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. And when the people are eating the stuff they raise and living in the houses they build, I'll be there too."

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 10, 2008

New York Governor Fights Consumer Fraud

New York’s Governor and Former Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, who earlier cracked down on Wall Street corruption, tobacco company excesses, and mob connections in the trucking industry, today struck another blow against consumer fraud in the United States.

Spitzer, working undercover as Client 9, secretly contacted Emperor’s Club V.I.P., a prostitution firm overcharging clients by thousands of dollars.

In arranging a rendezvous for himself, Spitzer was charged approximately $4,800, including a down-payment for future appointments. Later documents reveal, Spitzer had been working on this investigation for some time.

Spitzer’s top aide, Richard Baum, told reporters, “For too long, the Emperor’s Club V.I.P., like Sprint, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and other corporations, has been insisting on lengthy commitments from its customers, instead of simply charging its clients on a pay-as-you-go basis. Our research into the “best practices” clause of the call girl industry, shows that the ‘Emperor’ is overcharging his clients up to 451%, based on current market standards.

“In addition, adult services sites and advisors have been receiving kickbacks for giving favorable ratings to Emperor’s and others. Once again, America’s consumers find Governor Spitzer following this shameless profiteering, wherever it leads, even if velvet bindings are involved.”

Historians note that similar consumer investigations have been conducted by several governors of Louisiana.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, March 07, 2008

Is ANYONE Surprised By the “Hillary Monster” Story?

For months now, in chat rooms, e-mails, in small towns and in big cities, Obama supporters have been raving about Hillary Clinton. While Barack himself has been “above the fray” and serenading us about our Declaration of Independence, and Abraham Lincoln, his backers rip into Hillary.

And now, Obama advisor Susan Power tells a reporter that Hillary is a “monster” who will stoop to anything.

I’m glad this is finally out there in the open. Because it shows the similarities between Republicans and the Obama campaign, in their approach to Hillary Clinton. In fact, if you Google, Hillary Monster, after you scroll past the news results, you’ll get a series of alternating sites, between Obama supporters and conservatives, demonizing the Senator from New York. All we need now is for Barbara Bush to weigh in again with the “B-word”.

Here’s the Obama rationale. Any challenge Senator Clinton puts forward about Senator Obama: his resume, any flaw in his logic, any difference of opinion, any questions about his background, these are all “negative” or “dirty” politics.

The best recent example is the “3 AM phone call” commercial, that the Clinton campaign ran in Texas, Ohio, and several other states. The ad suggests that when the phone rings at three in the morning with a message about a terrorist or other enemy to America, Hillary’s experience makes her the one you want answering the phone.

In addition, out on the campaign trail, Ms. Clinton committed the heinous sin of saying that both she and Republican John McCain have far more experience than Senator Obama.

I can’t tell you how many obscenities Senator Clinton has inspired in the Obama camp with these messages.

It’s interesting, because months ago, I posted Senator Obama’s response to my open letter to all Democrats, asking them to stop bickering amongst themselves. His reply was that it was important to point out differences between them.

There’s nothing “dirty” about saying “I’m the one you want answering that phone.” And there’s nothing dirty about saying, “John McCain and I each have more experience.” Because the issue is going to be discussed, and better now than later.

Unless you’d rather discuss it in December, when someone says, “Yeah I voted for McCain instead of Obama. I just felt that McCain has more experience.”

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Please tell me this isn’t happening.

Democrats in Florida and Michigan decided to move up their Presidential primaries to earlier dates in the calendar, like about 20 other states this year. The Democratic National Committee said, “if you do that, we won’t count your delegates.”

I know what you’re thinking. “But hold on—they’re ALL Democrats. SURELY, they can work out a compromise.”

They didn’t.

So the states held the primaries anyway, with the knowledge that the votes wouldn’t count.

Nobody campaigned. In Michigan, most of the candidates didn’t even appear on the ballot.

Hillary Clinton got the most votes in each primary. So, of course, people from her campaign tried to make the case that the party should count the votes and award the states their delegates, a total of 367 new delegates.

There’s no way it was going to happen, but they had to try.

There’s been talk of a revote, a “do-over,” but that’s not going to happen. Because a “do-over” would cost 37 million dollars, and the Democratic Party would have to spend it, instead of using the money in the general election against John McCain.

Okay, so don’t count those primary votes.

Fine. But there’s one problem. However you do the math, the Democrats will want to win Michigan and Florida in November. It certainly helps their chances if the rank and file members of the Democratic party, and the voters of those states, get to have their say in the nominating process.

To have a convention without delegates from Michigan and Florida, states with a total of 44 electoral votes, just about a sixth of the 270 you need to win, would be a terrible strategic move.

Someone better figure out something.

But for now, two quotes come to mind. The first one is an old joke. “President Nixon is a corrupt, vicious warmonger. If he were running against anyone but the Democrats, he’d have no chance at all.”
The second one goes back to comedy great Will Rogers. “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.”

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 06, 2008

House Passes Minimum Noise Safety Act

(Washington) The United States House of Representatives today passed the Omnibus Noise Safety Standards Act, setting a mandatory minimum amount of noise a passenger car or light truck must create on America’s highways, and eventually, on its streets, roads, lanes and courts.

By a vote of 305 to 73, legislators approved the Pickering-Boehner-DeGette Bill, which will be sent to the Senate by a courier riding an American-made Harley Davidson FLSTF Fat Boy, from Harley’s Soft Tail division.

Under the laws provisions, drivers are responsible to provide enough sound to alert other motorists and pedestrians of their whereabouts. Toyota Prius owners, for instance, would be required to open their windows, and yell out “Vroom Vrrrrrooom!!”

States would be mandated to pass similar laws, to be enforced by a newly created Noise Task Force.
President Bush encourage swift passage of the bill by the Senate, saying in part, “Some people think car noise isn’t important. But for those of us who know a little something about driving around, we know that cars’ noises are verrry important, for all Americans, and in other countries as well.”

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Three of the arguments for Obama that I’ve heard a lot of recently:

1. Stop tearing the party apart. Hillary should quit, because Obama is a lock.

2. Hillary is inconsistent. One moment she’s “proud to be on the same stage as Obama,” the next she’s saying “shame on you.”

3. The “Clinton machine” is up to the same old “dirty tricks.”


1. a. This argument is, “people are voting for us, so vote for us.” It’s got nothing to do with democracy. It’s a wise strategy for Obama to follow, arguing that your victory is inevitable. It’s got nothing to do with the freedoms we have in this country, that Senator Obama is so quick to claim as his own true love.

b. Also, from people who voted for Bush twice, or from people who haven’t previously supported the Democratic party, or from people who’ve already made clear that if their candidate doesn’t win, they’ll either not vote, or support McCain, this argument about “party unity” is simply a bald-faced lie. Party unity doesn’t mean, “I win, or I take my ball and go home.”

2. Good parents, or people raised by good parents, probably understand this point the best. It’s “we love you, but you still need a time out, and we’re going to have to talk about this.”

Saying you’re proud of Barack Obama, doesn’t provide some sort of “immunity” from challenges, about misquoting Hillary’s record, about concerns about religious doctrines at one’s house of worship, about “the first day in your adult life that I’ve been proud to be an American,” or about meetings with Canadian officials that may have been innocent or not.

It’s perfectly valid to say, “I too, think Barack Obama’s “story” is remarkable, and is a wonderful validation of America. And now, here are some issues I need to confront him with as a candidate.” In other words, “you’re special, and you deserve recognition, but you don’t get some sort of royal dispensation for everything you do or have done.”

My greater concern about this is the notion that’s been spreading, that disagreement, conflict, and battling, are signs of evil. Positive support, affirmation and consensus are powerful forces for the good in this country. That doesn’t mean that you can’t point out your candidate’s shortcomings, which the Obama campaign has also been swift and constant in doing.

3. Every time any bad news appears about the Senator Obama, his supporters are quick to assume that Hillary Clinton is somehow George W. Bush or Richard Nixon. In other words, rumors, negative gossip, the “low road,” is all about Hillary. There’s not much evidence to support that. There is however, a long record of Republican faithful trying to manipulate Democratic politics.

For instance, Nixon’s campaign feared running against popular Maine senator, Edmund Muskie. So they sabotaged his campaign, and ended up running against the target they felt more comfortable with, Senator George McGovern.

George W. Bush didn’t want to run against Howard Dean. His supporters were passionate, and his level of support continued to rise. Somehow, his frenzied speech to supporters became some sort of mad scientist rant, after a couple of days of maneuvering and manipulation.

When Jimmy Carter ran against Ronald Reagan, Reagan supporters had already negotiated the release of the hostages from Iran, as soon as Carter was defeated. Since that issue was the top issue of the day, Reagan defeated Carter.

We’ve heard repeatedly that Obama’s a far tougher challenge for John McCain than Clinton is. Which also argues, persuasively, that some of the baloney being tossed Obama's way is coming from another, Rove-ish, Viguerie-ish, Cheney-ish place.

I’m only saying this to unite the party.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Don’t Know Me Anymore

A confession:

Tonight, I was shopping at Trader Joe’s.

Looking in the deli section, I had this thought, “Oh gee. They don’t have any of the honey roasted sliced turkey left. And last time, I bought it by mistake, and I loved it. Sure they have the reduced sodium sliced turkey that I normally buy, and they have the maple smoked sliced turkey, and the regular roasted sliced turkey and the peppered roast turkey, but aw damn, they don’t have the honey roasted sliced turkey.”

About a second later, I said this out loud, “Who AM I?”

Sadly, this is who I’ve become.