Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Government Waste

After her second tour of bleeding the taxpayer, Bush confidant Karen Hughes is resigning (again) to be with family (again) after failing at a high paid government job (again). God, to be a Bush crony! In the latest job to be mishandled by her, Hughes was given the responsibility to change the hearts and mind of Muslims toward the Unites States. Heck of a job Hughie. From what I can gather she made only one publicized trip to the region and that was a disaster. She may have made more trips and worked behind the scenes but her mission of "winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim World" clearly has failed miserably. Of course "success" in Bushworld only means being loyal to the imbecile, so she will be warmly embraced by the Republican establishment and undoubtedly financially rewarded in the future with another sweet job. Meanwhile, twice during the past 7 years, she has stuck you and I with the bill.

Long-time Bush adviser Karen Hughes will leave her post as undersecretary of state at the State Department in mid-December, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced Wednesday. Hughes served as undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs since her appointment to the post in March 2005, and was charged with running the State Department's campaign to "win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world."
In September of that year, Hughes traveled throughout the Middle East as part of what she dubbed a "listening tour" to repair America's image among Muslims. But it was a tough sell, and many Arabs criticized her for what they called her lack of understanding of the region. Rice praised Hughes' accomplishments in polishing the U.S. image, especially in the Muslim world, and thanked Hughes for her "wisdom and advice."
Hughes previously served for 18 months as the president's White House counselor,
and has been one Bush's closest advisers since his days as Texas' governor. CNN

Happy Halloween

I don't expect to do much more than work this Halloween. No treats for me. But here's something fun for you on this special occasion!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Robert Goulet R.I.P.

I got to work with Robert Goulet in Las Vegas a few times and really enjoyed it. He was one of the first big celebrities I did TV fundraisers with there. When he was scheduled I was warned that he was sometimes difficult to work with. But for some reason he and I got along very well and he was very relaxed and happy. I was thrilled that to be standing next to Robert Goulet doing live TV and he seemed to feed off that. I'm sorry to hear that he passed away. Speaking from the 2 or 3 evenings I hung out with him, I can say that he was a genuinely nice guy who I'm glad to have met.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hater's Holiday

For all the Yankee Haters out there today is a wonderful day. All the BoSox Bandwagoners get to celebrate just like they did for the Marlins a few years back. The ARod and Yankee haters must be cheering the fact that he is leaving the team and all those who have abandoned the Dolphins can now root for their team of the year (Indy, Patriots anyone?) As for me I'll stick with my teams through thick and thin - cheer when my team wins and feel bad when they lose. Just call me old fashioned.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The BoSox Bandwagon

Seems like Rudy Giuliani has joined certain members of my family on the 2007 BoSox Bandwagon. These headlines show what Yankee fans think about all that.

Political Prisoners

Yes. Right here in Red America. Richard Thornburgh worked in the Reagan and first Bush administration so his Republican credentials are indisputable. Thornburgh has gone public to state that the Bush Justice department have prosecuted people for the crime of being outspoken opponents of the GOP. Close followers of politics have seen this for years, but to have someone so entrenched in the Republican party admit this is very important.

Thornburgh, who served as attorney general from 1988 to 1991 and whose law firm represents Cyril Wecht, a nationally known coroner from Pittsburgh, testified yesterday that Wecht had been indicted for mail fraud and a "hodgepodge" of other charges by overzealous prosecutors keen on pleasing political appointees in Washington.

"He has always been a contentious, outspoken, highly critical and highly visible Democratic figure in western Pennsylvania," Thornburgh told the House Judiciary Committee. "In other words, he would qualify as an ideal target for a Republican U.S. attorney trying to curry favor with a department which demonstrated that if you play by its rules, you will advance."

I know for the most part I am preaching to the converted. But the point is so important to make. We are no longer living in the America we all grew up in. We are under the jurisdiction of a fascist regime. This is not just George W. Bush but the entire Republican party. Now I know many individual Republicans who are fine and good people. But the party they belong to is no longer an organization that respects America or Americans. Either by design or accident they have become nothing short or a democratic authoritarian government which harasses or imprisons those who speak out against it. This is no joke and may have already ended the grand experiment of the USA. Only when these people are outed, purged and put on trial can we begin to repair the significant damage done over the past generation of Republican dominance.
I know that this sounds pretty extreme but doesn't locking up people for their political views? I know it all seems impossible. After all we all grew up respecting a diversity of opinion and believing that America was great and was destined to stay that way forever. In case no one else has told you - we are not great at the moment and the path that those fascists hiding in plain view in the Republican party are taking us WILL end America as we know it forever if they are not stopped immediately.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I was right about the Sopranos

You all know I love to point out when I am right ... well here I go again. After the Soprano's finale earlier this year, everyone seemed to think that Tony got "whacked". Most people hated the ending but seemed to be happy that Tony, the career criminal, got his due. I took a contrary view - thinking that it was sort of a happy ending with the family all together enjoying the type of mundane event that later crystallizes into a cherished memory - in this case everyone in the family gathered together munching on onion rings. Well David Chase, the creator of the show, pretty much confirmed my lonely (but correct) assessment.

OWWW!!!!! I just hurt my shoulder from over-patting myself on the back!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Official critical of Iraq War now has "Health Issues"

Just in case any of you still didn't realize how far the right wing relies on a system of lies and myths ...
Three days after Americans saw the Bush administration's counterterrorism chief say the Iraq war has likely not made the United States safer from terrorism, the official announced his resignation, citing health reasons. more

Cartoon Commentary

Thursday, October 18, 2007

End of the Torre

I can only repeat what I have been saying for five years. I love Joe Torre but it was time for him to go. The team needs a different leader. I can't wait to cheer his introduction into monument park at the new stadium in 2009. It will be even more enthusiastic than the warm greeting I'll give for whoever takes over for 2008. Of the leading candidates, I'd go with LaRussa as my first choice and Mattingly next. more

Joey Bishop 1918 - 2007

Here is a very old clip of Joey Bishop with none other than Regis Philbin.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Moving in the right direction

Years ago in Tallahassee, I lived in an apartment located at a dangerous intersection. Every week - sometimes many times a week - there would be a collision on my corner. The problem seemed to be that people would not see the stop sign until it was too late and find themselves driving into a 3 lane - one way road.

Fortunately most of the accidents were not serious and I became used to the routine of going downstairs with my wireless phone (not to be confused with a cell phone which was not around at the time) to let the victim call the police and loved ones. It was a regular gathering for people in the neighborhood to stand around the wreck, console the participant and talk about how this happens all the time. The accidents were so frequent in fact that I met old friends who had crashed, made new friends and even got a couple dates (I can play the hero with the phone pretty well). Week after week, year after year the car crashes continued.

One afternoon it happened again. I was at work but there were plenty of people from my little apartment building around to view the wreckage. For some reason the local newspaper came by to cover the story. In the story one of my newer neighbors told them just how often there were wrecks at this intersection. Within a couple weeks they had painted, in huge lettering, "STOP" on the road leading up to the hard to see stop sign. The wrecks stopped instantly! All those years, all those wrecks, all those injuries (and all those phone numbers) could have been avoided if someone had done that earlier.

Ever since then I have took an interest in traffic design. When I lived in Las Vegas I told the mayor (Oscar Goodman - a great guy who I got to meet with frequently) about what happened back in Tallahassee and he had many of the streets there safety painted. During my brief move back to Tallahassee in 2004, my new apartment also had many accidents. One phone call was all it took to get that street painted and have the wrecks stopped. It still amazes me how such a simple idea can help so many people.

The reason all this comes to mind this early morning is a story in the New York Times that addresses an issue I was going to bring to city leaders here. That is - trying to find a way to determine what direction you are heading inside the city. Walking in New York City is a must and even when you know your way around it is almost impossible in some places to actually determine what direction you are heading. Many times I have done what all New Yorkers have done - walk in the direction you think you have to go only to determine, once you can finally read the next block's street sign, that you have been going the wrong way. While I certainly understood the problem, I could not come up with a solution. The best I could come up with is attaching some sort of compass symbols on street signs so people would not have to walk a block to see which way is up.

But this idea, which they have just started, is much better I think. The city is trying out sidewalk compass signs to help pedestrians find their way. If you have even walked the wrong way in New York City (or wish you had) read this story. I think it is a brilliant idea! Hey - if you have an idea yourself feel free to let me know in the comment section. But for this directionally challenged walker, these sidewalk signs are definantly a step in the right direct.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

911 Only Changed Their Excuse

This story is shocking - even to hardened skeptics like me. It seems that the Bush Administration sought Americans private phone records BEFORE the 9-11 attacks. Those who have excused the destruction of our constitutional rights because of the attacks that day, now find themselves embarrassed once again by their defense of the Bush Administration's un-American activities. Oh by the way, Qwest denied the request from the government which was followed by their business being blackballed for some government contracts and their leader arrested on insider trading allegations.
The phone company Qwest Communications refused a proposal from the National Security Agency that the company’s lawyers considered illegal in February 2001, nearly seven months before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the former head of the company contends in newly unsealed court filings.
The executive,
Joseph P. Nacchio, also asserts in the filings that the agency retaliated by depriving Qwest of lucrative outsourcing contracts.The filings were made as Mr. Nacchio fought charges of insider trading. He was ultimately convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading and has been sentenced to six years in prison. He remains free while appealing the conviction.
Mr. Nacchio said last year that he had refused an N.S.A. request for customers’ call records in late 2001, after the Sept. 11 attacks, as the agency initiated domestic surveillance and data mining programs to monitor
Al Qaeda communications.
But the documents unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Denver, first reported in The Rocky Mountain News on Thursday, claim for the first time that pressure on the company to participate in activities it saw as improper came as early as February, nearly seven months before the terrorist attacks.

Cartoon Commentary

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

“We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue; it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Top Five Reasons I'm Glad The Yankees Lost

It’s sad that the Yankees have been eliminated from the post season so quickly again, but no tears. It’s not like I didn’t see it coming. It’s been 7 years of disappointment so I have passed the fit throwing behavior that characterized so many other Yankee end of seasons. In fact I am going to try to look at the bright side of things and came up with this list of top 5 reasons why I'm glad the Yankees lost:

5.The refund from unused playoff and World series tickets can be used to pay the rent - for the next two months!
4.My nights are free - the baseball season is over!
3.I can blame it on George W. Bush - afterall we were winning all the time until he took office!
2.I can finally concentrate on those powerful Miami Dolphins!
1. Finally Joe’s going to go and the Yankees can have a fresh start next year!
Some very quick thoughts on what we should do for next year. I'll probably elaborate on a day off when I have more time. Joes' got to go - obviously. A-Rod has to stay - at any cost. The new manager should be Hispanic - they have had the most enthusiasm on the team the past 2 years. Giambi, Matsiu, Rivera and Clemens should be shipped off - get whatever young talent we can for them. (This is going to be controversial) We should LOOK INTO trading Jeter - I love the guy but where's the fire in his belly? If we keep him I'm fine with it - but if we could exchange him for someone of equal talent but superior enthusiasm, we should consider it. (Hey, I wanted to trade Marino after his 1st Super Bowl loss when he was young and valuable. I'm ruthless and see attitude almost as important as talent) more later?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Conservative Policies = Failed Policies (again)

One of my most common disagreements with conservatives is about the very viability of their theory of governing. They believe that if Conservative governing is allowed to run uninterrupted, everything will be just perfect. Any failure, they love to suggest, is a result in deviations from pure conservative ideology. Like the movement itself, that line of thinking is just a fraud.

I am old enough to remember that after the Reagan presidency, when things were in disarray, it was claimed that it was because Reagan wasn't a real conservative. (Yeah, right!) Same thing with the first George H.W. Bush. He lost, they claimed, because he strayed from the faith. (Uh huhhh!) Today we hear as an excuse for the failed presidency of George W. Bush that he was not a real conservative. (Fool me thrice??) This is what conservatives do - sell a dream that cannot work and then claim it all fell apart because they didn't really do what they said they were doing. Well here's an opinion piece that sums up all this quite nicely. The main point of it all can be gleaned from this conclusion:
Now, as they survey the wreckage of their cause, conservatives may ask themselves: “Well, how did we get here?” They may tell themselves: “This is not my beautiful Right.” They may ask themselves: “My God,what have we done?”But their movement is the same as it ever was. And Mr. Bush is movement conservatism’s true, loyal heir.

Torre, Yanks Live On

We won last night to force a game 4 tonight. We still have to win tonight to force a deciding Game 5. I would love for Joe Torre to go out on top, winning this and the next two post season series'. Two consecutive victories are necessary to prevent a contrary scenario from unfolding.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

George Has it Right

Finally! After at least 5 years of mediocrity in the post season George Steinbrenner has publicly put Joe Torre on notice. While I think the world of Joe Torre as a man and all that he has done in the past - the day is near when we need to get someone in there who will add a spark to the team. Just as Don Shula and Bobby Bowden had their day and then faded away, so Torre's time has come and gone. He's still a Yankee legend and beloved by us all, but change is good. George agrees:

"His job is on the line," Steinbrenner told the Record. "I think we're paying him a lot of money. He's the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don't think we'd take him back if we don't win this series."

Cartoon Commentary

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hi Bob, Oh Mary, Bye Joe

Well, the Yankees are really in a hole now after losing last night. I was in the theater watching "Mary Poppins" during our meltdown and learned with everyone else during intermission that we had lost. (It was funny - as soon as the light came up, everyone turned on their PDA or called friends to get game updates) The Yanks have to win 3 in a row or it's another quick exit from the post season. I haven't looked at the highlights yet (don't watch them too much after a loss) so can't comment on the specifics of the game - but it was 1-0 Yanks when I left for Broadway and 2-1 Indians when the play hit intermission. For now I'll just blame Joe Torre and say it's time for Joe to Go.

The play was really great. "Mary Poppins" on stage is much better than the movie. The sets were amazing and the music spectacular. It was a full house and everyone - young and old - really loved it. If you ever come to NYC and want to see a play I recommend it - especially if you have kids.

The Bob Newhart event was the best of all. He is really a naturally funny guy and had the 75 people in the audience cracking up during the whole interview. When the Q&A session started I found myself at the mike again. Just as happened during past events I had the whole crowd cracking up when I walked up to the microphone.(God I love that!) I stepped up, and with the best comedic timing I could muster said "HI BOB". Bob, Ron and the audience all drank on cue and laughed hysterically, setting up my question about the"Hi Bob"drinking game. Newhart said he had heard about it some twenty years ago, thought it started at Southern Methodist University and no, had never played himself. I was going yell "a round of tequila for Bob" but figured it's always better quit while I am ahead in the comedy department and gave way to the next (yawn, boring) questioner. Another notable fact was that we sat next to Opie from Opie and Anthony Show. He's a nice guy who despite being a God in radioland, refused all the pandering to him before the show. The organizers wanted to move some people out of the front row for Opie and his (extremely attractive) companion to sit but he had no problem squeezing into the regular seats with us members of the unwashed masses. It was a fun afternoon and I gained a lot more appreciation for Bob Newhart. In fact I want to get his 1963 albums - which I learned were #1 and 2 on the chart simultaneously. Apparently, he was a rebel comic back in the day and I am eager to see what was cutting age around the year of my birth.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

FOX Business: Serious Stuff

Conservatives Are Such Jokers

Happy Friday!

After last night's Yankee disaster it may seem that a happy Friday is out of the question. But we get another chance at the Indians later today so what the heck.

Today is my day off and rather than just relax I have a big schedule planned. Ron and Fez from XM radio have another public event and I am going. Today it's an interview with comedy legend Bob Newhart. I have liked him my whole life so it will be nice to see him up close and personal.

I'm also being dragged ... I mean ... I'm eagerly awaiting going to see "Mary Poppins" on Broadway. It should be a great show actually and I'm sure I will enjoy it. Especially if a get a couple beers in me beforehand.

Anyway to get in the mood for Bob Newhart, here's a video that you all might find to be an enjoyable stroll down memory lane helping you to have a Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"We're not here to preach to our choir, our job is to try to open abusers' hearts and minds."

Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has spoken with representatives from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about appearing in an advertisement for the animal protection group, but no deal on a partnership has been reached, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk told ABC News Wednesday.

Newkirk said she did not feel the group was aligning itself with one of its biggest enemies, but that Vick's public statement against animal cruelty could reach an audience that PETA can't.
"We're not here to preach to our choir," Newkirk said. "Our job is to try to open abusers' hearts and minds."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Gloom and Doom

As a Yankee fan it might be expected that I would take great joy in the collapse of the New York Mets. I am not a Mets hater however. While I am not depressed, as so many new Yorkers have been today, I was hoping they would make it to the post season. I have many friends who like the Mets and I even wore a Mets shirt for a year or so in college because it was "lucky" for me. I cheered them on in 1986 with Mets fans and would have liked nothing better than a "Subway Series". But the Mets blew it big time. Maybe next year guys!