Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Blinded By The Light..."

At this time of year, there are many stories of caring and giving and good will towards men.

And over the next few weeks, I promise to share some of them with you.

Not today.

(CNN) -- A temporary Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death in a rush of thousands of early morning shoppers as he and other employees attempted to unlock the doors of a Long Island, New York, store at 5 a.m., police said.

The Wal-Mart worker, whom authorities did not identify, was 34 and lived in Queens, said Nassau County police Detective Lt. Michael Fleming.

"This was utter chaos as these men tried to open the door this morning," Fleming said.

Video showed as many as a dozen people knocked to the floor in the stampede of people trying to get into the Wal-Mart store, Fleming said.

The employee was "stepped on by hundreds of people" as other workers attempted to fight their way through the crowd, Fleming said.

"Several minutes" passed before others were able to clear space around the man and attempt to render aid. Police arrived, and "as they were giving first aid, those police officers were also jostled and pushed," he said.

"Shoppers ... were on a full-out run into the store," he said.

The crowd had begun forming outside the store by 9 p.m. Thursday, Fleming said. By 5 a.m. Friday, when the doors were unlocked, there were 2,000 or so shoppers, many of whom "surged forward," breaking the doors, he said.

The man was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Others in the crowd sustained minor injuries such as sprained ankles, Fleming said.

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital, but "the baby is going to be OK,"
Fleming said. She was to be released later in the day, he said.

Asked about the possibility of criminal charges in the Wal-Mart death, Fleming said he would not rule it out but noted that charges would be "very difficult," as it would be "almost impossible" to identify people in the crowd from the video, and those in the front of the crowd were pushed by those behind them.

Hundreds of people may have lined up in an orderly fashion but got caught up in the rush, he said.

Wal-Mart spokesman Kelly Cheeseman issued a statement saying, "We are saddened to report that a gentleman who was working for a temporary agency on our behalf died at the store and a few other customers were injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time."

The company is investigating the incident, the statement said.

Officers patrolling the shopping center overnight had had concerns about the size of the crowd, Fleming said, and had tried to get those in line better organized. Wal-Mart security officers were also present overnight, but he said he did not know how many.

"I don't know what it's worth to Wal-Mart or to any of these stores that run these sales events," Fleming said, "but it has become common knowledge that large crowds do gather on the Friday after Thanksgiving in response to these sales and in an effort to do their holiday shopping at the cheapest prices.

"I think it is incumbent upon the commercial establishments to recognize that this has the potential to occur at any store. Today, it happened to be Wal-Mart. It could have been any other store where hundreds and hundreds of people gather."

Asked whether the security had been adequate, Fleming said, "In light of the outcome, in hindsight, the answer is obviously no. ... This crowd was out of control."

This is one of those stories that, obviously, appalls and/or offends any decent soul.

A young man is dead because people would have knocked down their own grandmothers to save two hundred bucks on a flat screen.

And it would be easy and obvious to launch into the diatribe about the “price lust” that turned a crowd into a mob that killed someone.

It really isn’t price lust that killed this guy.

Anybody who has ever seen grown people shove little children to the ground in order to snatch up three-cent doubloons during Mardi Gras parades will testify to how easily madness can overtake maturity.

What killed this guy was blindness.

Retailers blinded by the light at the end of the long tunnel of quarterly loss.

Shoppers rushing hysterically forward in the blinding blaze of the blue light specials.

In this season of lights, it was the brightest of lights that blinded the masses and cost one family a loved one.

The official cause of this young man’s death was heart failure.

But he died of blindness.

The blinding light of a Wal Mart sign outshining a star from the east.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Oh...and World Peace....I Forgot World Peace...."

G says that everything is a tradeoff.


For example, the tradeoff for the privilege of filling mouth and tummy with the caloric confections of this day is dealing with that moment at the dinner table when you have to come up with something.

You know.

That “let’s all tell what we’re thankful for” thing.

There are usually two main types of tablemates.

The ones who have no problem rattling off the list of things they are thankful for, from good friends and family to the way that fungus has finally cleared up on the family spaniel.

And those you just know are making shit up so they can eat without guilt.

Historically, I fall somewhere in the middle.

Which is ironic, I’d offer, given that one of my primary motivations in life seems to be going after and/or relishing being the center of attention.

It might have something to do with the fact that there are really only two ways to go with the ritual.

You either simultaneously show sincerity and vulnerability which are tough rows to hoe under the best of circumstances, let alone while sitting at a table surrounded by relatives whose reactions to your sharing could easily influence your status in their last will and testaments.

Or you play the smart-ass card, which never plays well in that moment.

And pretty much makes your getting cut out of the will a lock.

Actually, my problem is that I’ve spent a lifetime creating a persona of smart ass.

So turning into heartfelt sharing boy at the dinner table just feels disingenuous.

Having said all that…

Healthy kids, grandkids, loved ones and healing spaniels duly noted, I offer this thought up as my way of saying thanks today.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or whether you are a lifetime.

Pass the gravy, please.

"And Now...For Something Completely Different...."

When it comes to relevant and precisely focused perspective on the state of the world, the first name that comes to your mind probably isn’t Monty Python.

But, believe it or not, it’s the first name that occurs to me.

It happened again this morning as I was reading through the latest news about the terrorist attacks in India.

And while I’m willing to concede the point that oversimplifying things can be a slippery slope, I think that the Python guys have, at least, distilled the chaos and darkness down to a pretty legitimate essence.

It was during a “reunion” festival at Aspen some years ago, when all the still living Pythons were taking questions from the audience.

I don’t recall the exact question or even the premise of it, but I do remember, some ten plus years later, the answer, give or take a word.

Terry Jones, on the subject of warfare and its constant presence on our planet:

“All religions believe that they are going to heaven. They just keep killing us and each other in the argument over which is the best way to get there.”

The temptation, of course, is to find some complex way to put that.

Because the sheer simplicity is almost too much to absorb.

And even the youngest school child would be inclined to sum up the whole cause and effect relationship in a single word.


And while the strategists and the politicians and the pundits and even the poets will continue to look for the answer to the riddle inside the enigma, I hold that the Python perspective really cant be improved upon.

Sometimes a dead parrot is just a dead parrot.

And stupid is just stupid.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"The Bad News....We DO Know Where Paris Hilton Is....."

Sometimes I think I invented trivial pursuit.

Not the game.

Just the actual pursuit of trivia.

Seems like I've been doing it, in one way or another, all my life.

When I trace the origins of my fascination with the obscure, I find it takes me back to somewhere around junior high school, when I realized that ploughing through "Lord Jim" or "House of The Seven Gables" felt like trying to walk through wet cement.

On the other hand, I could breeze through, and retain most of, a couple hundred pages of "The Book Of Lists" between the beginning and ending bell of any given math class.

Which accounts for my success in mathematics.

But I digress.

When the web came along, it brought with it the mother lode of unusual and, essentially, useless information.

Useless, that is, to people who dont do one of two things.

Do radio.

Or blog.

Well, what do you know.

This morning, I was looking for holiday information to use on the air when I stumbled across this list. It has little or nothing to do with anything topical or timely.

But isn't that, by definition, exactly what trivia is?

So, while you're taking a break from surfing for bargains, news and/or whatever your particular internet fancy might be, here's some junk food for your synapsis.

And, at the very least, I'm off blogging about politics for awhile.

With a nod to my friends at

Five Famous Bodies That Were Never Found

1. Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914?)
He was wounded during the Civil War, drank with fellow journalists Mark Twain and H. L. Mencken, and kept a human skull on his desk. Bierce was also a devilishly fine writer who lampooned and skewered just about everyone in the American public eye during the last half of the 19th century. One thing he wasn’t, however, was found.In late 1913, Bierce went to Mexico to cover the country’s revolution. What happened to him when he got there is a mystery. Theories include: he was killed at the Battle of Ojinaga; he was executed by the revolutionary leader Pancho Villa; he shot himself at the Grand Canyon. Any of those ends would have doubtless suited Bierce. Death by bullet, he wrote before leaving for Mexico, “beats old age, disease, or falling down the cellar stairs.”

2. Joseph F. Crater (1889–????)
On the evening of August 6, 1930, a New York Supreme Court associate justice stepped into a New York City taxi—and became a synonym for “missing person.” When Crater didn’t show up for court on August 25, a massive search was launched. But no trace of the judge was ever found. There were reports he was killed by the jealous boyfriend of a chorus girl, or by crooked politicians who feared what Crater knew. Conversely, there were rumors that he fled the country to avoid a judicial corruption probe. After 10 years, Crater was declared dead. But by then he’d already become a staple of pop culture: Groucho Marx would sometimes end his nightclub act by saying he “was stepping out [to] look for Judge Crater.”

3. Amelia Earhart (1897–1937?)
It was the second time around when Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, took off in May 1937 to try to circle the world in a custom-built twin-engine plane. A first effort by the famed aviatrix ended in a crash in Hawaii. Undaunted, however, Earhart had completed all but the last three legs of her second journey when the world last heard from her on July 2, and investigations into her fate have been almost ceaseless since then. U.S. government officials say she crashed at sea. Others claim she died on a South Pacific island, was captured and executed by the Japanese military, or lived out her life as a housewife in New Jersey.

4. Glenn Miller (1904–1944?)
On December 15, 1944, it was so foggy that Miller reportedly joked, “Even the birds are grounded.” Still, the famed bandleader, who had joined the U.S. Army in 1942, boarded a small plane in Bedford, England, bound for Paris to prepare for a troop concert. He never made it. Depending on your level of credulity: the plane crashed in the English Channel; it was knocked down by Allied planes jettisoning bombs before landing; he was killed by the Nazis while on a secret mission; or he died of a heart attack in a Paris brothel. The big money, though, is apparently on the bomb theory. A Royal Air Force logbook indicating “friendly fire” as the cause of Miller’s demise sold for about $30,000 at a 1999 auction.

5. Harold Holt (1908–1967?)
On December 17, 1967, the ocean was all motion off Portsea, Victoria, but Australian politician Harold Holt, known as the “sportsman prime minister,” plunged into the surf anyway. The man had been PM for only two years, but sadly, he never came out, and an intensive search failed to turn up a trace. The result? 38 years of rumors: had Holt committed suicide; been assassinated by the CIA; been eaten by a shark; or had he swum out to a waiting Chinese submarine and been spirited away? Without a body, no inquest was held at the time.But in 2004, a change in Australian law prompted a formal inquiry to formally close the case of the missing PM. The ruling? A lackluster verdict to say the least: death by drowning.

Cool stuff, huh?

I was going to add the body of the Republican elephant.

But I'm off blogging about politics for awhile.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back to Back To The Future

Life imitates art.



In August, I wrote about the parallel between the real life teaming of the “inexperienced” Barack Obama with the more seasoned Joe Biden and the fictionalized teaming of the “inexperienced” Matthew Santos with the more seasoned Leo McGarry on “The West Wing” (check out my August archive for “Previously….On….")

Now, the buzz is pretty heavy that Obama has all but offered the job of Secretary Of State to Hillary.

A political foe he vanquished on his way to the White House.

And Santos?

He offered the same job to Arnold Vinick, the opposing party’s nominee for President.

Admittedly, the precise equivalent of this parallel would require Obama offering the gig to John McCain.

Potato patahto.

Whichever way it goes, keep tabs on what a guy named Aaron Sorkin writes next.

He’s the creator and guiding light behind shows like “Sports Night” and movies like “A Few Good Men”.

Oh…and “The West Wing”.

The only thing that could make this cooler would be if Aaron Sorkin was an anagram for Nostradamus.

Or if Sarah Palin shows up as a featured player in Sorkin’s next project.

Stranger things have happened.

"It's Really Nowhere...Man...."

The Beatles made me do it.

They were the reason I begged, pleaded and bargained to get that Sears Silvertone acoustic guitar for Christmas 1964.

Got it, too.

Well, at first, I got a picture of the guitar cut out of a Sears catalog and taped to the bottom of a nicely wrapped present.

My parents made the same mistake a lot of parents made.
Every kid over the age of 9 wanted a guitar that year.

So there was a little back order thing that had to be dealt with.

The guitar finally showed up, though.

And with it, and subsequent others, I wrote, through the years, four or five hundred songs, got a couple hundred published and had a few recorded.

Artists you would know.
Songs you wouldn’t.

Hey, if I had written some monster hit do you think I’d be working sixty hours a week and blogging on the weekends?

Meanwhile, back at The Beatles.

I really don’t think of myself as a Fab Four fanatic.

Although I will proudly say that I have been, and am, a fan.

Truth is, I was enamored of their work starting at yeah, yeah, yeah and started to lose interest somewhere around the Magical Mystery Tour period.

Everybody went ape shit about Sgt. Pepper.

Personally, I think it was a pretty cool album.

But, for my money, they hit their stride with Rubber Soul and Revolver.

And I found their “experimental, existential” stuff to be a big snooze.

Give me the exquisitely melodic, lyrically poignant “We Can Work It Out” over self-indulgent crap like “Revolution Number 9 (“…number nine….number nine….number nine….”) anytime.

So, while I credit them with exciting and inspiring me to start maturing my own musical masterworks, I was never one of those people who felt like every sound that came out of every orifice they possessed was genius.

And now, I hear tell of yet more sound to come.

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A "lost" Beatles track recorded in 1967 and performed just once in public could finally be released, according to Paul McCartney.
"Carnival of Light" -- a 14-minute experimental track recorded at the height of the Beatles' musical experimentations with psychedelia and inspired by avant-garde composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen -- has long been considered too adventurous for mainstream audiences.
In an interview for BBC radio, McCartney said his bandmates and their producer George Martin had vetoed its inclusion on the exhaustive 1990s "Anthology" collection, according to UK's The Observer newspaper.
McCartney confirmed he still owned the master tapes, adding that he suspected "the time has come for it to get its moment." The Observer reported. "I like it because it's the Beatles free, going off piste," McCartney said.
Almost everything recorded by the Beatles from their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg to their break-up in 1970 has been released amid almost insatiable public appetite for anything to do with the legendary Liverpool quartet.
In the 40 years since its recording, "Carnival of Light" has acquired near mythical status among Beatles fans who argue that the existence of the track provides evidence of the group's experimental ambitions beyond their commercially successfully pop career.
The improvised work features distorted electric guitars, discordant sound effects, a church organ and gargling interspersed with McCartney and John Lennon shouting random phrases like "Barcelona" and "Are you all right?"
McCartney would need the consent of Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, to release the track.

As I said, I’m a fan.

And here’s a little something I imagine you probably thought you’d never hear a fan say about the possibility of new, undiscovered Beatles music.

Yawn snooze.

The Beatles had moments of brilliance.
The key word in that sentence was moments.

Fourteen minutes of distorted guitars, church organ and John and Paul gargling isn’t brilliance.
It’s self-indulgent bullshit.

So, I’ll take a pass on “Carnival of Light”, thank yew veddy muhhch…

I’m a Bogart fan, too.
But I don’t need to see collector’s video of him making armpit noises for the crew between takes.

Let it be, already.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Mother Nature...The Ultimate Economist..."

Some forest fires aren’t supposed to be put out.

Although I dozed or, at best, feigned interest through most of my junior high school science classes (which explains why I’m unlikely to ever win a Nobel), I did manage (while reading “From Russia With Love” in paperback hidden behind my science textbook) to absorb the basic concept of nature “renewing” itself with a little “out with the old, in with the new” processing.

Ergo, the old forest is allowed to burn to the ground so that new saplings can take root, etc, etc.

And while we’re at it, although I profess no expertise in the area of economics, I understand that the nature of free market economy is that a little of that out with the old stuff applies as well.

That’s occurred to me as I read about the bailouts.

First, the banks.
Then, insurance companies.

Now General Motors has gotten to the head of the line.

To hear GM tell it, if they don’t get the bucks they need to put out the fire of bankruptcy, we’ll all be consumed in the flames.

First, GM ain’t the only forest in town.

Nissan, Toyota, et al seem to be pretty leafy.

Second, I don’t much care for the idea of paying for a car that I’m not going to get to drive.

If my tax dollars go to bailout GM, I could make a pretty good case that that’s the case.

Third, I’m no five star parent, but I do recall being savvy enough to teach the kids somewhere along the way that if they spend their allowance frivolously, they’ve got to deal with the consequences.

Fourth, I don’t like being scared or bullied into giving somebody my money.

“Hey….fork over the dough, pal…or the roof is gonna fall in on youse….ya dig?”

Tony Soprano as CEO.

Meanwhile, do I feel bad about the people who are going to really take the hit here? The autoworkers who have families to feed and will be out of work?

Of course, I do.

Damn it, Jim. I’m a free market capitalist, not an unfeeling asshole.

In fact, thanks to the total cluster f*** that was the outgoing administration, none of us are immune right now to the ripple effects of a economy on the slide.

Come to think of it…

I’ve spent more money for the last few months that I had coming in.

And if I don’t find some funding, I’m going to not be able to pay my rent or my car note.

And I’ll have no place to live and no way to get around to find a new job.

So chances are, I’ll be showing up at your house to eat your food and drive your car.

Until the cost of paying for both of us starts to overwhelm you and you start spending more money every month than you have coming in.

And you need funding or you wont be able to pay OUR rent or OUR car note.

And we’ll have no place to live or any way to get around to find new jobs.

And so we’ll show up at their house….or their house….or theirs…

So, I need a bailout.
Or things will get pretty ugly.

On the other hand, maybe having to take the fall for my overspending and learning to live within my means will mark the end of selfishness and greed and the beginning of a new, more responsible way of living.

A burning down, if you will, of old, bad habits.

And the taking root of new, good ones.
Some forest fires aren’t supposed to be put out.

"All Aboard!....Hey...Not So Fast, You...."

Thank God the election is over.

Or as some folks out in Denver might say…

Thank whomever.

Check this out.

DENVER -- A controversial billboard will likely be popping up in a neighborhood near you, just in time for the holidays.

The billboard is paid for by a Colorado atheist group. The message sits against a blue sky backdrop and says, "Don't believe in God? You're not alone."

Ten billboards will pepper metro Denver, while one will be put up in Colorado Springs

And we're putting them up in November and December because of the holidays, when church and state issues tend to come up a lot," said Joel Guttormson, with Metro State Atheists. "To let non-believers, free-thinkers and atheists know that they are not alone, especially in a country like ours that is predominantly Christian."

Pastor Willard Johnson of Denver's Macedonia Baptist Church called the billboards a desperate effort to discredit Christianity.

"The Bible is being fulfilled. It says that in latter days, you have all these kinds of things coming up, trying to disrupt the validity of Christianity," Johnson said. "If they don't believe in God, how do they believe they came about? We denounce what they are doing. But we do it with love, with gentleness, with decency and with compassion."

Bob Enyart, a Christian radio host and spokesman for American Right to Life, said it's hard to ignore the evidence.

"The Bible says that faith is the evidence of things not seen. Evidence. If we ignore the evidence for gravity or the Creator, that's really dangerous," said Enyart. "Income tax doesn't not exist because somebody doesn't believe in it. And the same is true with our Creator."

The billboards will go up Nov. 17. The atheist group, called Colorado Coalition of Reason or COCORE, also wanted to put up signs in Fort Collins and Greeley, but a billboard company there refused to carry the message.

Johnson said atheism is a rebellion against Biblical principals and the billboard will likely offend many Christians.

COCORE said this is about First Amendment rights.

"And I've read the First Amendment up and down and nowhere does it say that I have to care about your feelings. We're either 10 to 16 percent of the population, and the reason we don't really know is because people are scared to come out because they're ostracized by the people around them," said Guttormson.

Speaking of “the First”, the first thing that comes to my mind is that these folks are justifying their actions here by trumpeting the First Amendment as if it somehow trumps Scripture.

When, if I understand it correctly (and Lord knows {no pun intended}, the whole faith thing still doth vex me personally), the First Amendment was written by mortal beings who were created by God who is, at the end of this thread, the author of…wait for it…Scripture.

So logic (and I admit that logic is usually an unwelcome interloper in discussions of this nature) is inclined to dictate that to invoke the First Amendment as a means of getting around the Bible is a little like getting around the drunk driving law by handing the judge a piece of paper that you and a couple of your drinking buddies wrote that says “we get to get shit faced and boogie down the highway whenever we feel like it.”

Of course, it’s easier if you can say you don’t believe in the judge in the first place.

See, there’s the problem with that whole “evidence of things unseen” thing.

From the moment we can first understand language, we are taught (if we are fortunate enough to have parents who actually want to teach us and not just let us grow up courtesy of the culture…but that’s another blog…) that we shouldn’t take things at face value and we should look before we leap and we should be careful not to step on the ice unless we’re sure it’s solid and we should err on the side of caution, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah, hosanna, hosanna, sanna, sanna, ho…

But, oh, by the way, just accept and believe that God is right here with us.

Or right there.

Or there.

Or everywhere.

I digress.

Given the freedoms that the Constitution allows us as citizens of this country (and those who are afraid that Obama is going to pile us all in a truck and head down the Socialist-Marxist Expressway take note), these folks have every right to express their opinion.

And, fair is fair, they’re not advertising or proselytizing on behalf of Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer or even Elizabeth Hasselbeck, for that matter.

They’re simply saying they’re imagining there’s no heaven.
It’s easy if they try.

But, like I said, fair is far.

No do-overs, kids.

You don’t get to change your party affiliation if and when the Glory Train shows up.

Because again, if I understand it correctly, the price of a ticket is believing that the train is coming.

Even if there ain’t no tracks to be seen.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Coming Up....Wittys From the Wolf-ster!..."

I don’t flip over to CNN looking for laughs.

The comedy stylings of Wolf Blitzer notwithstanding.

So, it’s just a scoche disheartening to see D.L. Hughley show up with a weekly show on the Cable News Network.

And, just so we’re clear, my issue with the idea of putting a standup comic (and a minor league one to boot, but that’s just my personal taste) on a network that has, heretofore, been solely about the business of news is that there can only be one reason for doing it.

“The best things in life are free/
But you can keep em for the birds and bees/
Now give me money/
That’s what I want”

Let me endeavor to be reasonable here.

The “info-tainment” concept isn’t new to the era of cable/satellite TV.

One of the most revered icons in all of broadcast TV news history was made to do a little weekly fluff and fold back in the fifties to help pay for the network’s groceries.

“CBS presents the award winning newsman, Edward R. Murrow and….Person to Person…..this week, Ed talks with Liberace!”

So, there’s precedent.

But, CBS wasn’t solely a news channel.

For every Ed Murrow, there was a Mary Tyler Moore.
For every Dan Rather, there was a Lucy Ricardo.

Ted Turner defied the conventional wisdom of the times when he stuck his financial neck out to create a channel that would do nothing twenty-four seven but report the news.

And the gamble paid off, because CNN is consistently the most highly rated channel of its kind to be found.

That said, it’s perfectly understandable, given the current economic climate, why a news network might feel the need to “diversify” a little and go looking for profit dollars down other roads.

But, it’s a little sad at the same time.

Because any time you fix what aint broke, you can never go back to the original glory.

Hardee’s hasn’t been close to the same since they started serving chicken.
KFC ain’t much to cluck about since they started serving breakfast.

And CNN is never really going to be the same now that they’re serving up warmed over “Daily Show” from Comedy Central.

On the other hand, if you think Jack Cafferty is a borderline sourpuss now, just wait until they have him reporting Britney Spears next meltdown as breaking news.

Now, that’s funny.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"They Must Know Something I Don't Know...."

63 million and change.

Versus 55 million and change.

In the clear light of day, after all of the respective cheering and lamenting had faded, those numbers were the bottom line.

63 million people voted for Obama.
55 million people voted for McCain.

Not what you would call a squeaker.

Thank heaven, too, because the last thing this country needs right now as it tries to keeps it’s collective head above water is a repeat of the “we won, no, we won” slapstick comedy of 2000.

No mistaking the “will of the people” on this one.

And when you include Dubya’s approval ratings in the mix, it’s hardly surprising that Obama ran up the score.

Personally, I don’t find the numbers surprising.
I do find them just a bit curious, though.

The credentials of John McCain and Joe Biden spoke, and speak, for themselves.

The argument that Barack Obama had little “experience” was a fair point.

But, as I’ve pointed out more than once, he was vetted over a two-year period by millions of Americans who had a chance to accept or reject his resume in the primary process.

He was apparently acceptable.

Ask any of those millions of people all over the country.

Or just ask Hillary.

Sarah Palin came out of nowhere ten weeks prior to the election, was chosen by a single person to be placed one 72 year old heartbeat away from the presidency and, in the course of those ten weeks, among other things, gave the impression that she didn’t know that Africa was a continent and not a country.

Okay, let’s be totally fair here.

I’m not sure that if I had been a contestant on “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” and felt the adrenalin of being on national TV that I wouldn’t have put my foot in my mouth in a similar fashion.

But I wasn’t a contestant on a game show.

And I most certainly wasn’t asking voters to elect me Vice President of the United States.

The end result of the election pretty much validates the idea that a lot of people ultimately couldn’t come up with a reasonable answer to the question they probably would have asked John McCain about his reasons for picking Palin.

“Say, John…what were you thinking?”

As for me, I look back at the final vote totals.

55 million people voted for John McCain.

And Sarah Palin.

And that makes me curious.

“Say, folks…what were you thinking?”

"The Reason They Call Elections "A Race"....

It’s pointless for me to say, on the front end, that I think I have the ability to be objective about any post game analysis, because politics, by its nature, doesn’t allow any possibility of objectivity.

If you agree with me, it’s because you agreed with me going in.

And if you disagree with me, nothing I say will change your mind.

So, keep that in mind as I share the bullet points of what is, admittedly, my personal opinion here.

To wit, here’s why Barack Obama beat John McCain.

Obama attacked eight years of Bush policy.
McCain attacked Obama.

Obama chose a VP who, while clearly “establishment”, didn’t have us overly concerned about what would happen if he were to have to move into the Oval Office.

McCain chose a VP who, while clearly “mavericky”, had even those who chose, let alone supported, her wondering what would happen should the same fate come her way.

Obama embraced the current technology, especially the Internet, to reach out to a whole “new” group of voters, much the same way that JFK used television for the first time in 1960.

McCain didn’t take advantage of the same technology, much the same way that Nixon missed his shot in 1960.

Obama connected the dots in voter’s minds from McCain to Bush.
McCain never found away to erase those lines.

Obama kept his eyes on the prize.
McCain kept his eyes on Obama.

And there’s really only one way to watch somebody while you’re moving forward.

That’s watching him as he moves forward, too.

Up there ahead of you.

In the end, philosophies, policies, promises and platitudes aside, it’s not necessarily the best team that wins the game.

It’s the team that plays the best game.

And, at the buzzer, the final score:

Obama 349.
McCain 163.