Sunday, October 26, 2008

"McCain Had The Right IDEA...It's Just That....."

It’s a bum rap.

I really don’t think that Obama is any better or more qualified to be president than McCain.

And I really don’t think that Biden is necessarily going to make a better VP that Palin would have ( or will…election day is still ten days away and I NEVER underestimate the zany bunch that is the American electorate).

But perception is reality.

And I can see, by rereading my own words, where you might perceive that I am anti Palin.

Perceive away.

It’s a free country.

Withholding taxes, notwithstanding.

But I realized this morning that I’ve finally grown tired of pontificating political.

And you’ve likely “groan” tired of it, too.
Hardy har.

So, in my own twisted version of being part of the solution as opposed to the problem, let me offer an answer to the question that I’ve heard coming at me in the form of vibes from cyberspacers who still dream the dream of a McCain Palin administration.

And share with you some names of folks I think might have benefited McCain more than the very nice lady who is going to be living down the whole Caribou Barbie thing for awhile.

See, I think the problem isn’t that McCain chose to try and go outside the box.
It’s that he didn’t go outside the outside of the box.

Because, Palin’s qualifications or lack of same aside, she is an elected official and, by default, a part of the “establishment”.

Scratch a maverick, find a politician.

Had I been advising the campaign, I would have offered that we were missing the biggest part of the big picture, that being that the job of VP nominee, and VP for that matter, is simply that of sidekick.

Unless, of course, the president dies in office.
Or is Dick Cheney.

So, since McCain obviously wanted to “energize” things and clearly threw a Hail Mary pass when he picked Palin, why throw the Hail Mary twenty yards when you might as well go for fifty or sixty?

In for a penny, so to speak.

And if qualifications aren’t the criteria (and yes, I really do GET that Obama has very little experience either, but at least the guy was vetted by primary voters for two friggin years), then why not just totally go for broke and, high office qualifications be damned, just go for the sidekick that would bring the most to the table?

For example:

Ed McMahon….loyal, energetic, able to sell anything and everything from Medic Alert to Alpo and that whole “Heeeerre’s Johnnnny” thing would have been a nothing but net slam dunk in a McCain campaign.

Robin…again, loyal and energetic, not to mention buff, Batman’s number two would have not only brought the youth vote pouring in, but, with the mask, he’s got, right out of the gate, the most important quality of any potential office holder: plausible deniability.

Oprah….okay, so she’s not a sidekick, but think of the mindblow here….in one bold move, you not only steal Obama's "number one fan", you appeal to blacks, celebrities, soccer moms and disgruntled Hillary supporters of all races and both sexual preferences.

Ethel Mertz….again, the women’s vote is in the bag, but, best of all, when things start to go south domestically and/or internationally, the distraction value of McCain and Mertz shoving chocolates into their orifices and clothing as the assembly line goes faster? Priceless.

Teller…of Penn and…not a lot of help demographically, necessarily, but since the guy never utters a word, he would be the heaven sent choice to act as spokesperson for any administration failure. And never underestimate the political value of a cool “pour the milk into the paper cone” thing.

Tonto…probably the icon of sidekicks…with T, you not only put the Native American vote in the bag, and probably by association, all the other minorities, you’ve got a whole big damn US of A full of casinos to fund whatever the next zany war effort is.

Tweedle Dum…oh, wait….we did that with Quayle didn’t we? Never mind.

Bubba Blue (Forest Gump’s most very good friend)…not only do you lock up the black vote, but we can save the taxpayer’s a fortune by getting rid of that bunch who plan the state dinner menus,,,(“shrimp stew…shrimp cocktail…boiled shrimp…fried shrimp…..”).

Marie Osmond….(from her “Donny and…” days)…you get the women’s vote, the celeb backing, the Mormon vote and if and when the wheels come off, you just send her out to distract us with her dancing…and if things REALLY go south, she faints…problem solved.

And, last but not least…

Marge Simpson….you assure yourself of the women’s vote, the youth vote, the highly underrated and much overlooked animated characters vote and you’re talking about a woman who has put up with Homer Simpson for twenty odd years. Surely that makes her capable of putting up with just about anything and everything Washington DC might throw at her.

And if, God forbid, she should become president, our enemies would be totally stunned as to how to deal with an American government staffed with such diverse personalities as Moe the Bartender and Krusty the Klown.

Not to mention having Ned Flanders in the cabinet would sure shut Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and their gang the hell up.

Oh…and while I imagine it’s a moot point at this point, I’d offer to Senator McCain this last piece of advice.

If you’re sticking with the maverick thing, why not go for broke?

You still have ten days.

And Kathie Lee hasn’t got a gig.

"Meanwhile, One Year Later..."

Nostradamus has no monopoly on the visions of the future.

I’ve had one myself.

Admittedly, it could be the result of that Taco Bell Grande I ate just before going to sleep the other night.

But who’s to say that Nostra-boy didn’t think outside the bun in his day?

Ergo, I offer up my lookie see at what’s around the bend.

January 2010.

Barack Obama has been President for one year. Assuming, God forbid, that some psychotic wack job trying to impress Halle Berry doesn’t take a shot at him, those who didn’t care for him still don’t care for him and those that believed him to be the answer to every prayer uttered have quietly gone back to living their lives as best they can, having realized that he is mere mortal, subject to the same challenges and setbacks faced by every guy who calls the Oval Office his nine to five.

Oprah is inconsolable, by the way.

Joe Biden manages to walk the razor thin line between dutiful lap dog VP and loose cannon, the former the result of his sincere desire to be a team player, the latter the result of his discovering, like LBJ did a long time ago, that knowing everybody in Washington on a first name basis guarantees squat when it comes to getting any thing done.

John McCain gets a six-figure advance on his memoirs, the seventh figure having fallen off the radar the previous November 4th when both Ohio and Florida decided to jump off the Straight Talk Express and on the Obama bandwagon. Somewhere around page 114, he will note with great irony that the politician he most identifies with is Al Gore.

Al’s albatross was nicknamed Slick Willie.

John’s albatross was nicknamed Dubya.

And Sarah Palin, having resigned as Governor of Alaska after deciding that politics wasn’t really where she wanted to be, gets the last and best laugh in retaliation for the interview that very likely began the fall of Palin’s star in the campaign by blowing away the competition and zooming to number one with…

The Evening News with Sarah Palin.

On the Fox News Channel.

Take that, Katie Couric

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"What We've Got Here...Is.....Failure To Communicate...."

There’s one scene, not to mention many others, in the movie “Cool Hand Luke” that I like a lot.

Luke, played by Paul Newman, is challenged to a fight by Dragline, played by George Kennedy because Drag, the “leader” of the chain gang is threatened by Luke’s growing popularity.

Take a few minutes to watch the scene provided here before reading any further.

The obvious lesson trying to be imparted here is never give up.

But that’s not what I remember.

What I remember is the wonderful job that George Kennedy did in conveying the frustration of somebody who went from wanting to beat the hell out of somebody to wanting that person to just lay down.

In other words, with each new punch, the feeling of victory was being overtaken by feelings of guilt.

I know exactly how Dragline felt.

Because it’s getting to that point when it comes to making comments about Sarah Palin.

Here’s a piece from CNN that brings my point into focus.

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) -- With 10 days until Election Day, long-brewing tensions between GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin and key aides to Sen. John McCain have become so intense, they are spilling out in public, sources say.

Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin "going rogue."

McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls -- recorded messages often used to attack a candidate's opponent -- "irritating" even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign's decision to pull out of Michigan.

A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

"She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.
"Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom."

A Palin associate defended her, saying that she is "not good at process questions" and that her comments on Michigan and the robocalls were answers to process questions.

But this Palin source acknowledged that Palin is trying to take more control of her message, pointing to last week's impromptu news conference on a Colorado tarmac.
Tracey Schmitt, Palin's press secretary, was urgently called over after Palin wandered over to the press and started talking. Schmitt tried several times to end the unscheduled session.

"We acknowledge that perhaps she should have been out there doing more," a different Palin adviser recently said, arguing that "it's not fair to judge her off one or two sound bites" from the network interviews.

The Politico reported Saturday on Palin's frustration, specifically with McCain advisers Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt. They helped decide to limit Palin's initial press contact to high-profile interviews with Charlie Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, which all McCain sources admit were highly damaging.

But two sources, one Palin associate and one McCain adviser, defended the decision to keep her press interaction limited after she was picked, both saying flatly that she was not ready and that the missteps could have been a lot worse.

They insisted that she needed time to be briefed on national and international issues and on McCain's record.

"Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic," said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the "hardest" to get her "up to speed than any candidate in history."

I imagine that even if you and I don’t share the same perspective politically, there’s a pretty good chance that we have at least one thing in common.

We’re both ready for all of this to be over.

But either way, I think it fair to say that the last three paragraphs of the story are not only telling, they’re stunning.

The McCain campaign is defending the decision to keep Palin from answering questions because “after she was picked…she was not ready and the missteps could have been a lot worse…she needed time to be briefed on national and international issues and on McCain’s record…her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic…and…it was the hardest to get her up to speed than any other candidate in history?”

Whatever else may have been, or has yet to be, said about this election, I think this story leads to only one reasonable conclusion.

Even the very campaign staff that was instrumental in choosing Palin to be the running mate is saying that she wasn’t qualified to be the candidate.

And, partisan politics aside, if she’s not qualified to be the candidate, then how in God’s name can anyone believe for a moment that she’s qualified to be one 72 year old heartbeat away from being President of the United States?

I admire Luke for not wanting to give up.

But I most identify with Dragline and the feeling of not wanting to throw any more punches.

Just lie down, Sarah.

And stay there.

"Hero Is A Verb...Not A Noun..."

As a radio personality, I sometimes hear people say they think I’m good at what I do.

I appreciate their kind words.

Not to mention their good taste.

That’s meant to be funny.

See, like email, that’s the trouble with blogs.

You can’t color your words with nuance or tone.

I do appreciate their kind words.

And I do put in a lot of effort to make what I sound effortless.

But, now and then, I come across something that reminds me of the sometimes subtle, but always essential, difference between being good at what you do and doing good.

For example…

CNN launched its second annual global search for ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary deeds in February.

The network has aired weekly CNN Hero profiles of those people, chosen from more than 3,700 nominations submitted by viewers in 75 countries.

A panel made up of world leaders and luminaries recognized for their own dedication to public service selected the Top 10. The Blue Ribbon Panel includes humanitarians such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Kristi Yamaguchi and Deepak Chopra.

"What an incredible group of people and how difficult it was to select only 10," said Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a panel member.

Archbishop Tutu added, "They all deserve to win. Thanks for saluting these remarkable human beings."

Each of this year's Top 10 CNN Heroes will receive $25,000 and will be honored at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," airing from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on November 27.

Hosted by Cooper, the Thanksgiving night broadcast will culminate with the announcement of the CNN Hero of the Year, selected by the public in an online poll that began Thursday morning.

Continuing through November 19, viewers can log on to to participate in the poll. The person receiving the most votes will receive an additional $100,000.

In alphabetical order, the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2008 are:

Tad Agoglia, Houston, Texas --Agoglia's First Response Team provides immediate help to areas hit by natural disasters. In a little over a year, he and his crew have aided thousands of victims at more than 15 sites across the United States, free of charge.

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia --Moved by the lack of children's books and low literacy rates in his native Ethiopia, Gebregeorgis established Ethiopia Reads, bringing free public libraries and literacy programs to thousands of Ethiopian children.

Carolyn LeCroy, Norfolk, Virginia --After serving time in prison, LeCroy started The Messages Project to help children stay connected with their incarcerated parents. She and volunteer camera crews have taped roughly 3,000 messages from inmates to their children.

Anne Mahlum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania --On her daily morning jogs, Mahlum used to run past homeless men. Today, she's helping to transform lives by running with them, and others as part of her "Back On My Feet" program.

Liz McCartney, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana --McCartney moved to New Orleans to dedicate herself to helping Hurricane Katrina survivors move back into their homes. Her nonprofit St. Bernard Project has rebuilt the homes of more than 120 families for free.

Phymean Noun, Toronto, Ontario --Growing up in Cambodia, Noun struggled to complete high school. Today, she offers hundreds of Cambodian children who work in Phnom Penh's trash dump a way out -- through free schooling and job training.

David Puckett, Savannah, Georgia --Puckett started Positive Image Prosthetics and Orthotics Missions -- PIPO -- to provide artificial limbs and braces and care to people in southeastern Mexico. Since November 2000 his mission has helped more than 420 people, free of charge.

Maria Ruiz, El Paso, Texas --Several times a week, Ruiz crosses the border into Juarez, Mexico, to bring food, clothing and toys to hundreds of impoverished children and their families.

Marie Da Silva, Los Angeles, California --Having lost 14 family members to AIDS, the Los Angeles nanny funds a school in her native Malawi -- where half a million children have been orphaned by the disease.

Viola Vaughn, Kaolack, Senegal --The Detroit, Michigan, native moved to Senegal to retire. Instead, a group of failing schoolchildren asked her to help them pass their classes. Today, her "10,000 Girls" program is helping hundreds of girls succeed in school and run their own businesses.

I enjoy the work I do.

And I work hard at it, hard, of course, always a relative thing.

But, I like hearing about people like these.

Because, above and beyond the wonderful things their efforts accomplish, it offers me something, as well.

A reminder that there’s a lot of wiggle room between making people laugh.

And making a difference.

"Satire and Cement"

These are some very talented and funny people.

And so spot on with their obviously satirical impressions that some will be offended.


That’s exactly what really good political satire is supposed to do.

If you’re one of those who “get” what’s going on here, enough said.

If you’re not, let me simply offer you this.

Our sense of humor is our saving grace.

And our ability to laugh at ourselves is the only thing that has gotten us this far.

Because, as it has been more eloquently written before, life is a serious business lived by people who need to be careful to not take themselves too seriously.

And it is our ability to laugh through our tears that keeps us going.

One other thing, though.

I hear a lot of bitching about why “liberals” seem to be doing all the satire.

In other words, why isn’t SNL, for example, doing skits skewering the Democrats?

I think it’s obvious that the SNL gang isn’t exactly what you would call members of the Republican base.

But I’d offer that they’ve done a pretty nice job of “ridiculing” Hillary and Bill and company through the years.

I think it really comes down to something fairly fundamental, stereotypes aside.

Conservatives, by nature, like the fresh cement just the way it is.

Liberals, by nature, like to put their initials in it.

When liberals talk about change, they tend to mean changing the system, rocking the boat, zigging when zagging is traditional.

When conservatives talk about change, they usually mean changing the way liberals think about things.

I don’t have even close to enough wisdom to offer whether one philosophy is “better” than the other or that one is right and the other wrong.

Or left, as the case may be.

I just know that when I see fresh cement, I’m tempted to put my initials in it.

So, I suspect, are the gang at SNL.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Be Not Afraid....Either Way, We're Good...."

Here’s a political analysis I’m willing to bet you won’t get anywhere else.

It won’t matter if Barack Obama is elected president.

It won’t matter if John McCain is elected president.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter all that much who wins.

Because the power of the presidency is, for the most part, illusory.

The founding fathers pretty much saw to that.

And while we continue trying to convince ourselves, and each other, that those we choose to live on Pennsylvania Avenue have joined us from Mount Olympus on their eventual way to Mount Rushmore, the fact is that they are, at the end of the day, mere mortals.

And our political system pretty much negates any chance that they’re going to do either radical harm, or radical good, while in office.

Unless they go Dr. Strangelove on us, but if that happens, all the bets are off anyway.

The president can do little or nothing without the support and/or consent of the Congress.

And Congress rarely chooses which side to come down on based on what might be good for the country.

They choose which side to come down on based on what’s good for the Congress.

Or, more to the point, what will keep us from getting pissed off enough to vote their asses out of office on the next go round.

Visions of Jimmy Stewart filibustering long into the night in defense of Joe Six Pack and Harriet Hockey Mom not withstanding, the whole structure of our government is really nothing more or less than a marble coated, tourist saturated version of your place of business.

And office politics are office politics, regardless of shape, size or rotunda.

You do what you have to do to keep your job.

Just like your elected representatives.

And if you happen to actually accomplish something in the process, then that’s gravy.

But it’s not necessarily germane to the goal.

Keeping the job.

No matter what President Obama or President McCain want to do, they’re gonna have to run it past the legislative branch.

And the legislative branch is gonna have to run it past you.

Because you’re the boss.

Neither President Obama or President McCain can fire Senator Hometown or Congresswoman Main Street.

But you can.

And if it comes to a choice between pissing off the President or pissing off the voter, which direction do you think your representatives are going to go?

Funny, ain’t it?

All the time and energy, let alone money, that gets spent every four years by the political parties in their effort to get you to decide who’s going to run the country

When the whole time, we already know who runs the country.

We do.

There’s just not enough room in the executive mansion for all of us to live together.

So we all get together every four years and pick somebody.

Somebody who spends their time and our money convincing us that they’re showing us the way.

Imagine what would happen if every single voter in this country realized what I’ve just shared with you.

We might actually get things done.

"Thanks for Coming In..We'll Get Back To You..."

Credit where it’s due.

She’s a good sport.

Being able to stand up to weekly ridicule, let alone actually show up where the ridicule is being inflicted, takes a classy sense of humor.

Can’t see Hillary Clinton calling herself “Caribou Barbie”.

So good for you, guv.

Here’s the thing, though.

After all the anticipation of her appearance and while she did a great job of playing the straight man, and not looking awkward or out of her element, I think it fair to say that the skit didn’t generate any of the real out loud laughs we’ve laughed in previous weeks.

And it has nothing to do with the Governor.

It could just be that the joke has been told so many times that it simply isn’t funny anymore.

Well, okay, the Tina Fey doing the pageant walk thing is funny, but other than that…

In any event, the Governor did, as they say in the biz, a pretty good job given the limits of the material.

And don’t let anybody tell you that you didn’t.

It’s not the first time that the actual performance hasn’t come close to living up to the hype.

Just look at the last eight years.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"The Ghost of November Past...."

Four years ago, about this time, I expressed an opinion.

I’m going to express it again in just a few minutes.

First, though, take a look at what McCain and Palin are offering us now in the way of “positive, affirming, here’s what we’re going to do to lead and inspire this country” rhetoric:

(CNN) -- Sen. John McCain stepped up his rhetoric against his Democratic rival on taxes in his weekly radio address Saturday, comparing his plan to "socialist" programs.

The remarks were part of a theme McCain has used since the final presidential debate, but his most recent comments were the first time he used the word to describe Sen. Barack Obama.

In the radio address, McCain didn't directly call Obama a socialist, but he let the now-famous Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher nearly do it for him.

"You see, [Obama] believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that help us all make more of it. Joe, in his plainspoken way, said this sounded a lot like socialism," McCain said Saturday.
Watch McCain blast Obama »

In an interview with ABC last week, Wurzelbacher said Obama's proposal to raise taxes by 3 percent on those making $250,000 and over is a "very socialist view."

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has used the word in speeches the past two days as well.

I have no words to waste on anyone who is too obtuse to see this for what it is.


With the distinctive aroma of the ghost of Richard Nixon and his veiled threats of “communist” that got HIM elected to the Senate in the forties.

And we all know what a first class statesman and leader he turned out to be.

So, let me just spare myself the typing and you the need to read what you either get or don’t.

And simply offer this.

Four years ago, when it was clear that George W. Bush was in over his head and lacking any real vision for the presidency other than winning it and we had the chance to replace him, I said that he needed to go, but John Kerry wasn’t the guy.

Having said that, though, I offered this opinion.

Knowing what we knew and seeing what we saw, if we elected George W. Bush to another term, we would have no one to blame but ourselves.

And we would get exactly what we deserved.

We did.
And we have.

I am, hand to God, still not convinced that Barack Obama has what it takes to be the president that his believers believe he will be.

But, I am convinced that this country can’t possibly do worse than to elect a guy so desperate to win that he resorts to cheap bullshit scare tactics at the last minute.

John McCain got pissed the other night and told Barack Obama to his face that “I’m not President Bush.”

I’m not worried that he’s George Bush.

I’m worried that he’s the ghost of Richard Nixon.

"The Only Sure Things are STILL Death and Taxes..."

The debates are a done deal.

Sarah Palin has pretty much used up her fifteen minutes.

And the “serious” business of the home stretch is underway.

Meanwhile, the “experts” are telling us that all the polls indicated Obama pulling away from McCain, making it, in their opinion, pretty much a done deal that we are about to elect the first African American President of the United States.

Maybe not.

Just ask Tom Dewey.

It was pretty much a “done deal” that he was a shoe in to boot Harry Truman out of the White House in 1948.

At one time or another, we’ve all seen the picture of Truman holding up the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline.

Political savvy and expertise aside, for my money, there is no wiser interpreter of the body politic than Yogi Berra.

The baseball player, not the cartoon bear.

The bear said, “hey, mister ranger, sir, could I have that pick a nick basket?”
The ball player said, “It aint over till it’s over.”

Obama reportedly told his folks this past week to be cool and not get cocky.
Smart man.

And good writers, too, cause it would have been all too easy to tell his folks not to get all “Dewey-eyed” just yet.

I don’t trust opinion polls.

It’s just like House says when he’s diagnosing patients.

“Everybody lies.”

Until they get behind the curtain and pull the lever.

Or push the button.

Does anybody actually pull a lever anymore?

I digress.

It aint, indeed, over till its over.

And, just to add an additional thickening to the plot, check out this online poll from this morning:

Have you made a final decision on which candidate should be the next president?

Yes 92% 223409
No 8% 18753

Total Votes: 242162

I have to admit that I’m a little perplexed.

The other “polls” tell us that Obama is pulling farther away each day.

This poll, which doesn’t ask for a choice, one way or the other, indicates that in a group of almost a quarter million people, nine out of ten have made up their minds.

Obama in a nine to one landslide?

I think not.

McCain in a stunning nine to one upset?

Uh, no.

The bottom line here, kids, is that, with all due respect to Wolf and his “best political team on television”, not to mention the plentiful other mouthpieces telling us what’s going to happen before it happens, “predictions” are useful for one, and only one, thing.

Fun small talk.

Until the votes are actually cast and counted, predictions mean squat.

Just ask Al Gore.
Or Tom Dewey.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"The ****** Factor...."

Nobody ever talks about it.

None of the experts, commentators, reporters, pundits, prognosticators or other analysts who offer up their take on what will, or wont, determine the outcome of elections ever address it or include it when they share their two cents.

It is “the factor” that goes unspoken.

We hear about the experience factor.

And the age factor.

The male, female, liberal and conservative factors.

The blue-collar, white collar, homeland security, economy and working class family factors.

Not to mention the Hillary factor.

And, for the first time in our history, we even hear no holds barred discussion of the race factor.

But, there remains one factor that goes unmentioned even though it will very likely have more impact on the outcome of this, or any, election than any other.

It reared its head most prominently this past week at a McCain rally.

A woman looked John McCain in the eye and said that she “couldn’t trust Obama…I’ve read about him…and he’s an Arab…”

Take a look at the video above.

It’s been observed, on numerous occasions, that one downside of freedom is that, by its nature, it cant be limited to only those who are intelligent enough to use it wisely.

That’s why the emergency rooms are filled with drunks with one less finger, give or take, every Fourth of July evening.

And that same freedom that gets doled out regardless of race, creed, color, religious affiliation or sexual preference allows anyone with a social security card and proof of voter registration access to the booth, to pull the lever for the candidate of their choice.

The woman in the video is a moron.

My elementary school age grandkids could see that from the cheap seats.

But the woman in the video is not an aberration.

There are a lot of people in this country who jump into lakes without bothering to see how deep the water is, scloff down a six pack or two of Bud before going out in the backyard to light up the cherry bombs on July 4 and who put on their makeup and/or text their homies while operating a motor vehicle at sixty miles an hour on the same highway as you and me and our respective loved ones.

Who think that Obama is an Arab.

Or John McCain is a doddering old man.

Or Sarah Palin is a moose shooting debutante.

Or Joe Biden is a hair plugged, snake oil salesman.

And who are entitled by law and birthright to walk into the booth on Election Day and pull the lever.

I don’t overly concern myself with the experience factor or the age factor.

Or even the race factor.

But, in the still of the night, when I allow myself to let a little fear of the future creep in, it’s a sure bet that I take the unspoken factor into account.

The stupid factor.

"Don't Let The Oval Office Door Hit You in The Butt On the Way Out...."


Since the day I was born, there have been eleven men who have heard “Hail To The Chief” when they entered a room.

My first awareness of the presidency occurred, if memory serves, in 1960 with the Kennedy-Nixon debates.

It wasn’t so much that I was becoming politically conscious as it was that I was nine years old and most likely pissed that these two politicians were pre-empting the weekly episode of “Zorro”.

It’s been pretty much up and down since then.

And, sad to say, more down than up.

Kennedy was assassinated.

Johnson was Vietnam-ed out of office.

Nixon resigned in disgrace.

Ford was defeated by a peanut farmer.

Carter couldn’t get the Iranian hostages back.

Reagan was spared the assassination, but Iran-Contra tarnished him pretty good.

Bush the senior was defeated by a skirt chasing, sax playing Southern governor.

Clinton was a skirt chasing, sax playing Southern Governor.

Which will bring us back to do-re-mi-fa….


Talking about politics is like talking about somebody’s mama.
No matter how much respect you try to show, chances are your opinion is gonna piss somebody off.


Some years ago, I defined, for someone, the term “cynic” as an idealistic optimist who understands the way life really works.

That makes me, by my own definition, a cynic.

In 2000, I honestly thought that Al Gore was a better choice than George W. Bush.

But, cynicism aside, I also honestly hoped that George W. Bush would prove me dead ass wrong.

He didn’t.

And as the final 100 days of this “administration” begins, I’ll leave it to the objective appraisal of historians to determine what, if anything of any lasting value, he accomplished.

What he managed to do for me was prove me right.

And I wish to God I had been wrong.
Say goodnight, George.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Pennsylvania Avenue, 90210"

The video offered here is parody and obviously ridiculous.

After all, at the end of the day, this is still the United States of America.

Where, after we've had our laughs, we settle down and get serious about the business of governing by the people, for the people, yada yada the people.

The country that elected ,to high office or another, George Washington...the father of our country.

Abraham Lincoln...the log splitter from Illinois.

Ronald Reagan...the actor from Death Valley Days.

Arnold Schwarzenegger...the actor from The Terminator.

Jesse Ventura...the wrestler from Minnesota.

So, enjoy the laughs here.

Then let's get back to the serious business.

And elect the caribou hunting hockey mom from Alaska.

"Live! From New York!....Amen!"

God is one funny creator of all things.

I’m talking five star, universe class sense of humor.

I’m not being sarcastic or sardonic or even irreverent.
Pun mildly intended.

I really believe, in my heart of hearts, that sense of humor is, at the end of the day, the one life blessing that we sincerely could not continue to exist without.

And if we are really created in God’s image, then He is one divinely droll dude.

If only because he gave us Sarah Palin and Saturday Night Live in the same space-time continuum.

Lots of people think that SNL’s hot air balloon popping take on things is disrespectful, even unpatriotic.

F’em if they cant take a joke.

Because the refusal to simply lie down and roll over in the face of genuine concerns about our freedoms and future often inevitably comes with a varnish that makes it look disrespectful, even unpatriotic.

Like, for example, the way those irreverent funsters Washington and Jefferson and Adams, et al, told England to shove it a couple hundred years ago.

It is the freedom to pop those balloons that makes America unique among nations.
And “limited freedom” is like “ a little bit pregnant.”

So I say thanks to SNL for holding up the mirror, or looking glass if you prefer, to our wackiness and giving us the chance to apply a much needed perspective to the choices we have to make in our lives by tapping into our collective sense of humor.

And for that sense of humor?

Thank God.

"The Scariest Thing About This Election..."

Funny thing about this year’s election.

You’d think that with the totally unique, almost surreal, cast of characters involved that I wouldn’t be able to find enough hours in the day to blog about it.

Turns out, at least in my mind, to be the total opposite.

Oh, not that I don’t have a rant or two up my sleeve.
I mean, come on.

But while I still want to think that I’m “non-partisan” enough to want to go down to the wire sifting through what McCain and Obama are offering before deciding on which way to choose, the aforementioned surreal nature of this thing makes it more likely that I will start to have a deep and abiding respect for the cultural contributions made in the past five years by Paris Hilton.

And while I pondered how to articulate my case while convincing those who know me well that it hasn’t been an inevitable decision all along, I found articulation for my own position in the most unexpected, not to mention ironic, place.

The words of a member of one of the most Republican families on the planet.

The son of William F. Buckley.

Christopher Buckley, the son of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, said Friday he's decided to back Barack Obama's White House bid, the first time in his life he will vote Democrat.

“It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup [sic] are no longer alive. They’d cut off my allowance," Buckley, a columnist for the conservative National Review, wrote on the Web site The Daily Beast Friday.

Buckley, who praised McCain in a New York Times Op-Ed earlier this year and defended the Arizona senator's conservative credentials against wary talk-radio hosts, said McCain is no longer the “real” and “unconventional” man he once admired.

"This campaign has changed John McCain," Buckley wrote. "It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget 'by the end of my first term.' Who, really, believes that?

"Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis," Buckley added. "His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?"

But Buckley made clear he's not just voting against McCain, praising Obama for his "first-class temperament and first-class intellect."

"Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy 'We are the people we have been waiting for' silly rhetoric—the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for," Buckley wrote.

If you read closely enough between the lines, you’ll see that Chris really is trying to avoid saying, “I’m voting for the lesser of two evils”, but his meaning is clear.

And while I’m old and jaded enough not to see Barack Obama as the great black hope or the great white hope or the next John F Kennedy or any of the other hyperbolic sashes his starry eyed devotees want to drape around him, I find myself pretty much on the same page as Mr. Buckley.

Oh….and regarding the title of this little piece?

The thing that scares me the most about this election is that enough people will be unable to overcome their reservations, however fair they might be, about Obama that the Electoral College will put into the Oval Office that irascible, snarly, position changing, coherence lacking, unrealistic former first class temperament whose first really important decision was to choose a moose hunting Carol Brady to run for vice president with him.

Do I, for a single second, think that could really happen?

In a country that elected George W. Bush not once, but twice?