Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One America

I will be back with a vengeance after the memorial service and things settle down again. And, then we begin the campaign for One America.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Separate is not equal

I will post later this week about why "Gay Marriage" and or "Civil Unions" is important. The indignity that my brother is being put through is beyond the pale. I will tell this story once I have his permission. If I don't get it I will tell it another way. His story could very easily be my story or the story of any GLBT person in most of our states. This nation still has second class citizens and I am one of them.

Separate has never been equal and it never will be. It wasn't under Jim Crow and it is not now under DOMA and DADT.

On this day / in this month when we celebrate pride the focus needs to be on civil/equal rights.

I'll be back

Saturday, June 27, 2009

No Post Today

My family lost one of our own today.

My brother's partner died suddenly this morning. He was a friend, a well loved member of the family and as a co-worker of mine someone I had a great deal of respect for.

Mike will be missed by his many friends.

Spending this afternoon with my brother was some of the most heartbreaking time I have ever spent.


Friday, June 26, 2009

MJ & Me

Last night we were walking into the restaurant for dinner and as we passed through the bar area to get to our table I caught the TV @ the bar. I caught the headline on the TV that Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital and the word was it was his heart. My first reaction that it was just another Michael Jackson drama, something to get headlines leading up to his concerts in London. About 20 minutes later my niece texted that he was dead. We were with my sister and brother in law. The four of us just sat there for a few seconds, a little shocked and with a sudden sense of sadness. At first I thought how silly, why be sad over the death of Michael Jackson. I had stopped being a fan about 20 years ago and in fact was quite disgusted by his actions and behavior.

Michael and I grew up together, the same way I grew up with Prince Andrew, JFK Jr, Donny Osmond & Ron Howard. We are (were) all about the same age. Michael Jackson was part of my life for as long as I can remember. In sixth grade we were all bused for the first time. To kill the time we copied the lyrics to Jackson 5 songs and sang them over and over again. It was bonding and a great distraction for me, I forgot about the potential beating I was going to get once we got off the bus. Tough kids versus geeky, nerd boys.

Flash forward a few years and Michael Jackson has become a young man, just like me. His look and sound matured and he showed the world that he was a real talent. A few more years we continued to mature but Michael did not. He became this weird man /child. His face changed, his hair changed, his skin color changed but his talent did not. A few years later he had physically changed so much he no longer looked like Michael Jackson he looked like an odd white transgendered person. If you did not know it was Michael Jackson and you saw him on the street you would not have been sure which way he/she was transitioning.

A few more years later he just became really weird and his talent went away too. The stories of the animals, boys, booze & drugs ruined what ever good memories I had of the man/boy I grew up with. I no longer had any interest in anything he did and yet I followed all of it's sordid details with a growing level of disgust and yet a little sadness.

What happened to this enormous talent? What did his father do to him? What did fame do to him? Why did the other famous peers I mentioned earlier turn out all right and Michael Jackson became such a freak show?

Today the sadness that I felt for him became even more real with the knowledge that what ever information comes out now about his life and death will no doubt be so sordid, sick and repulsive that many of us will have a hard time remembering the bright talent that was Michael Jackson. In an interview today Liza Minnelli said she was glad we have some time to celebrate him before all the stuff comes out.

After JFK died a book came out titled "Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye", unfortunately for Michael Jackson we will know way too much about him.

Quick hits

  • Michael Jackson dead @ 50. I stopped being a a fan a long time ago but when he was good he was great. I still hum some of the 80's songs. He became such a tragic mess though. He became so sad to me. What will become of his children?
  • Gov. Sanford - I want to gloat, I want to say awful things about him. I feel for his wife, I feel for his children, I feel for Maria and yes I even feel for him. One cannot control where the heart takes you. But, the hypocrisy deserves some kind of nasty comment from me, but I just don't have it in me. Too many people suffer when this happens.
  • Farah Fawcett - Such an icon in her time. Her long struggle with cancer and the dignity in which she carried herself through it wiped out all the tabloid crap about her life.
  • 1776 - went to a regional production tonight. It was spot on from casting to staging. I tried not to sing along but I did tear up a few times. I also tried but failed not to give a mini history lecture on the way out.
  • Tried Koma tonight - beyond excellent service and the food was quite tasty and nicely presented.

More on some of this later. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

He's Smokin

There has been a lot of press lately about whether the President still smokes.

A What business is it of yours?
B Who cares?

The media is trying to show he is a hypocrite by signing the new tobacco law.

First let's have a civics lesson
  • Congress passes laws and the President chooses to sign them. Some even become laws without the President's signature. That is called an override.
  • As to the first point the President can not make laws only congress can.
  • The GOP supports the concept of a uber President only when they hold the office
  • This law written by congress passed with many GOP votes.

Yes, he still smokes from time to time.

An old friend told me it was easier to quit cocaine than tobacco. The President knows that it is bad for him and he knows the consequences.

Where was the press when George W Bush was the first US President to invade another country without previous provocation? Did they ask him in 2003 if he understood the consequences of being the first US President to start a war? Did they comment on the fact that he and Cheney were war wimps when their nation asked them to serve in Vietnam ? Did they ask him if he had thought the long term effects of being he first President to start a war?

The media gave Bush a free ride for 7.5 years. And, then they had a V8 moment only when it was pointless to ask him anything that would matter. The right wing talks about a media bias towards the liberals but I believe the media is tougher on liberals because the expectations for good government are so low on conservatives.

The only reason I care that Barack Obama smokes is for his health. If, he chooses to light one up from time to time is OK as long as he does not light up is the sky of another country.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The video of Neda dying on the street needs no comment and I am not sure I could really find the words anyway.

May her soul be at rest and her family find comfort from the thoughts and prayers of the world community.

They may be the worst

The Governor of South Carolina makes a big splash and says he is not going to accept federal stimulus money. His legislature and the courts say yes you are. He decides to take a hike and forget to tell his wife, Lt. Gov. and state police. But, that is not the worst example of bad politics

The PA budget problems are looming toward a government shutdown or stop gap spending. Both sides are blowing smoke up. Well, you know where. But, that is not the worst example of bad politics.

California may go under because neither side is really talking and more interested in grandstanding. But, that is not the worst example of bad politics.

Our school board allows the Supt. to go crazy spending money on all kinds of projects all funded by a shaky finance plan, that would make Bernie Maddoff proud. Now they are hiring a consultant for $800 a day to help them through the transition to a new Supt. He will make a little less than less than the president but more than members of congress. Even though he is a 77 year old retiree I suspect he will work harder than our congressman or most members of congress for that matter. But, that is not the worst example of politics.

The always tan John Boehner takes questions everyday from the press. When he is asked his opinion on something, he asks the president's opinion and responds NO, JUST THE OPPOSITE or HE HAS FAILED TO PROTECT US. But, he is not the worst example of politics.

In a joint meeting with the Lehigh County commissioners the Northampton County council acted quite the fool. But, that is not the worst example of politics.

Dick Cheney will not shut up, Rush will not stop saying things to get attention and W has started talking again. But, even they is not the worst example of politics.

OK, so what is?

The New York State Senate can't agree on which party is in the majority. As a result no bills are getting voted on , the budget is not being discussed and nothing, I mean nothing is getting done.

First two Dems decided to vote with the GOP, giving control to the GOP. Then one of them (who is being investigated for slashing the face of a lady friend) decided to continue to vote with the Dems, thus causing a tie. Now, they have foot races to see who can get to the podium first to see who can call the session to order. Today both parties tried to hold a session at the same time, in the same room but with dueling gavels.

By law the session was to end yesterday. The Governor (he's a whole another story) called them back into session. It does not mean they have to do anything but at least they will get paid for being in session.

In a time when the President of the United States is trying to rescue the economy and our futures. In a time when the Iranian people are trying to rescue their most ancient of cultures from the dregs of tyranny. In a time when 10% of the people are asking for equal rights.

The New York State Senate earns a paycheck for doing nothing but spitting on each other. And, in the first speech given by the President of France before the Parliament since 1875 is most remembered for addressing Burka's (not that he is wrong - but please). What a world!

Is it any wonder why I may never go head first back into politics.


What will today bring?

Noted a lot of comments on Twitter about MAC crashing last night, they may need to pull the hassle free ads.

It was a nice sunny day yesterday, it is amazing how more pleasant people are when there is a little sun in their lives.

Richard Engle - Good hair or dated look? Talk it out and get back to me.

Monday, June 22, 2009


What I am watching closely:
  • Iran - Reform is not going to clean or easy but it is going to happen. A well educated people will not be held back
  • The Brooke Astor will trial - Why this? Every Sunday the first section of the Times that I read is the Style section. I still miss seeing Mrs. Astor on those pages. For more than 40 years she was the Grande Dame of New York. She was loved and beloved by the great and the not so great. She used the old money she received from her late husband to really improve her city. To see the end of her life become so sordid and ugly really moved and affected me in a way that it hard to explain but it just did. Now her son and her lawyer are on trial for changing her will because she was not going to leave enough money to the son's wife. Mrs. Astor's son was exposed by his own son. If she were alive, Mrs. Astor would be humiliated by the sordid nature of all of this
  • The PA budget battle and how real gambling may come to PA because people are so distracted by this budget show down their attention is taken away from anything else
  • BASD - What a train wreck. From the financial mismanagement by Supt. Lewis and his staff to having meetings in Ms. Leeson's home. I think her bad press hurt Jay's race for council. I am thankful he lost, it was the highlight of my primary night

Those are few my news obsessions, all over the board but not boring (at least not to me). What are you obsessing over?

By the way if you get a chance read Peggy Noonan's WSJ column about Obama and Iran.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iran made me change what I was going to write about

Took a soggy walk to the Apollo for a late Saturday lunch. It was flawless as usual.

I was going to write about why I like living in downtown Bethlehem.

We got home and could not think of anything to watch on TV so we turned on CNN.

Compelling coverage of the days events in Iran. I have been following a few twitter feeds that may be from Iran.

A rumor on CNN about the helicopters dropping a liquid on the protesters and that it is burning people. Could they really be dropping acid on their own people? I can see the leaders calling for such action, anything to hold on to power. But, how can the regular soldier do something like that? I hope it is not true.

The clerics are behaving like the Shah. Will it dawn on them that they have become no better or even worse? Since they claim to speak for G-d I do not think they will. In 1979 when the Shah was using brutal repression to hold on to power the US government was accused of paying the bills. Partially true I am sure. This time the Chinese and the Russian's are paying for this repression and violence against the people of Iran. Will they pay the price we did?

Ignore the horse shit coming out of the mouths of the GOP led by John McCain. The response from the President of the United States is correct and don't let any right wing extremist convince you that it is not. Thank G-d Obama won otherwise the McCain administration may be preparing for another round of invading a country that did not attack us first.

I will write my original post about living in downtown Bethlehem some other time

In the meantime pray, think about, support in anyway you can the people of this planets oldest civilization.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A look back

At the end of a long week: Let's review

Iran - POTUS is taking the right approach, I am lurching from hope to despair and back again , once again the GOP led by McCain is wrong

GOP - Nothing new added to any debate - tired old scare tactics and catch phrases

Weather - 29 days of no rain in Seattle - 30 days of rain in eastern PA

Twitter - Which I love, assisting the protesters in Iran

Family Guy @ 7:30 - Have seen them all so forced to choose between Access or Wheel of Fortune

True Blood - Back on and a wild roller coaster ride of great TV

This Blog - Is anyone reading it?

Movies - Another Will Farrell movie flops as does Eddie Murphy's

TV - Best two hours of the week on PBS - a lot of nothing on

Casino in PA - Push towards real gambling - could be a boon

POTUS - Sky is not falling, polls rise and fall and the republic survives

Paris Hilton - When I am Pharaoh she will be illegal

Me - Need to get out of dodge soon, maybe a few days in the city

Maureen Dowd - Back after a couple of weeks, sigh

I'll be back

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Sky is Falling - no wait it's just a snap shot poll

A bunch of new polls are out this week, NBC/WSJ today and the rest of the network/print combos coming out tomorrow. The NBC/WSJ traditionally in the past has trended to the more conservative side.

All over the networks of NBC today was the cry of PRESIDENTS POLL NUMBERS DROPPING.


They are going to drop, they always do. He has pissed off his base, he is frustrating the gays, the NO party is not being held accountable for only saying no and not offering up any genuine alternatives or adding to the debate. They are just stomping their feet, sticking out their little pouty lip and boo hooing about being in a minority. Like any of those pampered, self indulgent, wealthy, white, mostly men know anything about being a minority.

I think the real interesting result from this poll is that people still really like the President, in fact the poll shows they like him more than his policies. People are scared of the potential deficit and the GOP just exploits those fears every chance they get.

Early reports of the other polls show that the president's numbers have dropped just not as far as the NBC/WSJ poll.

By the way, the drop in numbers is not that huge or earth shattering.

Lehigh Valley Ramblings:

For anyone interested in life and politics here in the Lehigh Valley. Author has a distinct point of view, which I often share

Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Stoffa's Reelection Sure Thing#links

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


It is hard not to become hopeful about what is happening in Iran, but the world has been down this path so many times. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not

Eastern Europe - Some smoother than others but over all pretty good and not many deaths
the exception being the Balkans and that is taking a little more effort
South Africa - It took a long time but truth won out
Eritria - violent and brutal but they are free from Ethiopia

Not worked - Pretty much everywhere else
China, Burma, Hati, the Sudan, Somalia, Madagascar & a few more

But, I think the Iranian's are different

  • Many consider themselves to be Persian - the birthplace of civilization, science and more
  • Both men and women are well educated
  • They do not seem willing to be bought out by economic success like the Chinese
  • The majority of the population is under 30
  • Most folks have access to the internet and are using it to inform each other about the events going on
  • There appears to be a division within the ranks of the 80 men who have final say on all issues
  • People eventually just get tired of having their leaders embarrassing them
  • VA & PA voted out foolish Senators

But, I could be wrong and just letting my hope get the better of me.

Should I have hope?

Supporting Show Tunes on TV

I am watching the PBS presentation of the concert version of Chess, filmed in London and staring Adam Pascal, Josh Groban and the remarkable Idina Menzel. Concert version of Broadway / West end shows like everything in the entertainment business have gotten bigger. They used to be concerts, now they have huge, yet simple sets, dancers, costumes and big staging.

Chess was written at the height of the cold war and uses a chess matches as the pretext to show the rivalry between the US and USSR. It was also one of the greatest flops of all time. I have always loved the music of this show. The book/story line is a little forced but the songs oh the songs. They soar! Even if you are not familiar with this show many of you will know some of the songs, even Whitney Houston has covered one.

I am not familiar with many of the supporting players but everyone knows Josh Groban and some should know Adam Pascal and everyone needs to know Idina Menzel.

I am a big fan of Josh Groban for many reasons his voice is so clear and distinct. The man can really sing. Though he sounds the same in everyone of these songs they all sound like Josh Groban songs.

Adam Pascal a star of Rent and the star of Aida has a great rock and roll Broadway voice, which works well for this show.

But, Idina Menzel is the real scene stealer. She owns every song and she out sings her costars. She is an awesome talent and the real star of this outing. She should be more famous than she is. She has an album out and it is pretty good, I have to go back and really listen it, if only for her remarkable voice. Oh yeah, she is also married to Taye Diggs.

Programs like this are why I love PBS and why PBS & NPR need to be supported. Every year at budget time the conservatives try to cut funding. Did you know that the US government spends less per capita on the arts and culture than any industrialized country and even some emerging countries.

And, now in PA the assault on PBS/NPR is coming from our very on liberal governor. The budget currently under consideration has cut all grant funding for these two important institutions. I know many believe that the market should take of these things and believe me the private sector and fund drives are the true financial back bone of PBS/NPR. It costs each taxpayer in PA $.83 a year, yes you read that correctly EIGHTY THREE CENTS a year to support this.

Surely we can afford such an extravagance even in these tough times.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Keep your pants on

Once again another moral crank Republican politician is caught with his pants down, or admits to having his pants down with someone other than his wife. And yet, he is for the sanctity of marriage (as long as it is not his). I am sure his wife will stand by him at a press event and profess that this is a personal issue and they are working to strengthen their marriage.

Sen. John Ensign has admitted to having an affair with a campaign aide who just happens to married to a member of his Senate staff. He is of course like the rest of the religious pant droppers opposed to gay marriage and even civil unions. If one is so interested in protecting marriage than 1. divorce should be illegal, 2. cheating on your wife should be illegal, 3. having an affair with another man's wife should be illegal.

How these hypocrites have any credibility on any of the moral issues of the day escapes me and yet many people listen to them and applaud them for their traditional conservative, pro-family values. Here are some of my favorites

John Ensign
Affair with a married woman
Bill O'Reilly
Sex talk with young female staffer, accused of sexual harassment, one of the foulest mouth on TV
Drug addiction, 3 or 4 marriages, stopped with big bottle of Viagra while coming home from the Dominican Republic (a well know sex tourism spot). Was he having sex outside of marriage?
3 marriages, filed for divorce from first wife she was in the hospital with cancer, harsh critic of Clinton marriage issues while having an affair with house staffer and he was Speaker of the House
Sen. David Vitter
On the top of the client list of the DC Madam and known for his passion for wearing diapers
Congressman Robert Bauman
Leader of the anti-gay wing of congress - spent a lot of his taxpayer funded salary on gay hookers. He has since come out and is living as a gay man
Rev. Ted Haggard
Loved him some gay hooker and party drugs
Rev. Jimmy Swaggert
Tried to get hookers to scream OH GOD! in a special up close way.
Rev. Jim Bakker
Loved his secretary a little more than Tammy Faye

More of these fun little tidbits can be found in the book "The Brotherhood of The Disappearing Pants".

I know that there have been plenty of Dems in the same situation and I find them just as awful. Cheating on your spouse is wrong, but they are not out there trying to invade my bedroom or the back seat of your car.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New life for an old church

The gallery opening that we attended Saturday was held in the basement of a former Lutheran church in the college hill section of Easton. It was one of the few churches in Easton that I had never been in. During the Vietnam war my family would attend services in various churches on Sunday nights to end the war. No, we were not hippies, we were blue collar folks who loved our country so much that we had to ask G-d's help to tell our President "enough was enough".

Visiting these various houses of worship allowed me to have a very global view of religion and people's faith. We went to services in Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, AME, Catholic and Episcopalian churches as well as the local synagogue and temple. We were members of the United Church of Christ. I learned at a very young age that there are many paths to G-d's truth.

I am no longer a very religious, though at one time I was considering pursuing the ministry but I think I was not not home when G-d called or the message on the answering machine was deleted before I had a chance to hear it.

I developed a love for houses of worship. I often drag Guy into churches on our various trips across the globe. I am always moved no matter how grand or simple and I always sit for a moment and soak it in. When available we always light a couple of candles for Guy's father and my Grammy Strohl.

Which brings me back to this new gallery. It is no longer an active church, the new owners have converted it into a gallery and a recording studio for video and sound. I was unclear about their intentions for what was the sanctuary but, it appeared they were going to be very respectful.

I spent some time studying the windows and sitting at various spots in the pews, I could feel the history. I could hear the voices of the choir, I could hear the new baby crying and the young mother trying to quiet him. I could almost see the ushers passing the collection plates and the old friends greeting each other warmly after the service. And, then I could sense the sadness when the families gathered for the last service before they moved on to a different space.

Having met the owners I am hopeful that this place that once was a very holy and important space for many people will still be one but on a different level and with a different use.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hooray for where I live

Over presidents day weekend Guy and I went into the city for the long weekend. A few museums and generally grazing our way through Manhattan. One of our favorite stops is Maloney & Porcelli's on 50th street, it is a traditional steak house with a great bar and big reasonably priced martinis. The bar is hosted by the very charming Gareth, from Ireland. Anyway while we were there we met a very nice young couple Martina & John, one thing leads to another and we are buying each other around of drinks and we are becoming fast friends.

Fast forward a few months we get an e-mail from Martina saying they were coming to Easton for an art gallery opening, the gallery is owned by John's cousin and his partner. Martina invited us to attend, and they were hoping for a little tour of Bethlehem because they were intrigued by it due to our description of our little city when we first met.

Guy picked them up at the bus station and we had a few hours to show them around before the gallery event. What to do with them? Would we still like them in the sober light of day? They are about 20 years younger then I am. What would we have in common? Well, it turns out they are quite charming, interesting, and fun to be around, we really like them. Fast friends and we will keep the friendship going.

But, what to show them of our fair city? Downtown of course. We parked at the house and walked downtown a quick walk around the area and set out for drinks and snacks at the Apollo (our hangout). All the while I am giving a history lesson of the Lehigh Valley with my usual dose of analysis on the economics, politics and culture of the area. They may have been bored (I know Guy had to be since he has been hearing it for over 25 years), if they were bored they were very gracious and did not seem to be bored as I pontificated on.

At the gallery we met some of John's family, which of course gave me another shot at being the town pride guide. After drinks at the River Grille I escorted our new friends to the Easton bus station and walked back to the bar. On my back to the bar some people asked if I was a local and if so, would I answer some questions they had about the area. The used to live here but moved many years ago. So I chatted with them for awhile regaling them with local history and updating them on the changes in the area since the moved away. Three times in one day I got to be local cheerleader and area historian. I was in heaven. If anyone out there would like the Normality tour of the greater Easton / Bethlehem area just let me know.

It turns out I really like living here and I like to tell people about it. Now, if I can make a living at life would be almost perfect. If anyone out there would like a tour

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Right is wrong

I know I wrote that I would not mention him anymore. But, My God!
He claims the the most recent right wing murderer was really acting on behalf of the left and just yesterday questioned if the President was born in the U S. If you watch the video of these most recent sick rants you would swear the junky radio host was back to his old ways. Maybe he needs another Viagra vacation to the Domincan Republic to calm down.

But, here is the real problem with the right wing top talkers, The are upset and hurt that the American people in record numbers over the last two elections have rejected thier sick, cynical, and negative vision of this great county. They believe, because they get the best ratings on talk radio (wow) that they actually speak for the American people. They don't realize when placed against the actual population of this great country, their audience is really quite small.
They really believe the are the heirs to Ronald Reagan. When in reality Bill Clinton was more like Ronald Reagan than either of the Bush men. Go back and look at the Reagan record and you will find that it really does not match the memories of a man who believed in small government.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I have the urge to post about Karl Rove but I don't know quite how to say what I want to say without sounding really really snarky, nasty and petty. But he does bring out the worst in people.
Look how bad his most famous client performed his job.
I want to write about how he has not only failed his president but he has failed his nation.
I want to write about how his disregard for the constitution should be prosecuted.
I want to write about his cynical view of the world and how these cynical views were such an influence on his president.
I want to write about how now much of what he says is more about shock and keeping his name in the media than about substance.
I want to write about how inconsistent he is in his views. And, how the tactics he used in the White House he now opposes.
I want to write about all the rumors about how he is single and how many of his aides have been handsome young men and how they surround themselves with handsome young men.
I want to write about how his advise to his president has been proven wrong each and every time he offered it
And I really want to write about how his Bush nickname was TURD BLOSSOM.

I really want to write about all of this but I just can't find the correct words that won't make me sound mean,, bitter and snarky.

I know those who know and love me must be shocked that I can't find the right words but Karl Rove is so vile, such a failure that I can't find the best words to describe what I think. So, I will just have to think about what I want to write.

Headline - Karl Rove attacked Maureen Dowd today on FOX. When I am Pharaoh he will be sent to a year as an intern with Falcon Studios. But, would that be punishment ?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

They just can't live without their Newt

Last night the GOP had their big fundraiser in DC. Billed as the most important and biggest fundraiser of the year. I am sure the usual gaggle of lobbyist, hanger ons, want to be, grand standers, money shakers, elected officials, staffers forced to be there and hookers were in attendance.

It appears the organizers struggled with who would be the keynote speaker and the final choices were Newt & Sarah. The organizers sent out conflicting notices about who would speak and they did not want to insult the two great leaders. One was all about the future and the other was all about the past. One is thoughtful one is exciting, one has fought through the trenches and earned his way to the top by doing the hard work needed to succeed one appears to have the Midas touch and has lately turned everything in to gold. One just won't go away, well neither one will just not go away.

The organizers chose the past, though the "bright" future did grace the stage with a walk through.

I do not think Newt has much credibility with the average American voter but he does for some reason with the DC punditry and the DC Republican party. Do both groups have short memories or do they just want to benefit from the free press his outrageous statements attracts?

Let's help the DC Republicans look back with some my favorite highlight of Newts career
  1. Brought the politics of personal destruction to new and sophisticated level with his negative campaign ads hinting that Tip O'Neil was an over drinking, out of touch corrupt hack pol. Followed a year or two later with his relentless attacks on Speaker Wright over a book deal. Followed by hints that Speaker Foley was not in a real marriage and was gay
  2. He filed for divorce from wife # 1 while she was in the hospital with cancer
  3. He blamed Susan Smith drowning her sons on the Democrats
  4. He was so put out that he was forced to exit Air Force 1 from the back and did not get a seat with the President on the plane during a trip to the funeral honoring PM Rabin after his cold blooded murder that he orchestrated the government shut down.
  5. He pushed through the impeachment of a very popular president, who lied about cheating on his wife with an intern.
  6. These last two caused his party to lose seats in elections that have traditionally gone to the party that did not sit in the White House
  7. As a result some of the men and women who put him in power forced him out as speaker because he had become such a drag on their fortunes and futures
  8. He divorced his second wife because she caught him having an affair with a congressional staffer. See point 5.
  9. He continues to make incendiary statements calling people vile names.
  10. He has married his third wife and is now a pious Catholic

This is who the GOP chose to be it's face on the biggest night of the year. You have to ask how bad is Sarah Palin if the only choice they thought the had was this man. All this makes it hard not to be over confident about how long the Dem's can stay in power. But, politics is a fickle business.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A note

I will not put much effort into this one. I am at a loss. Plese come back to us Ms. Dowd.

On another note Guy just asked me if Jerry Herman was gay. I just gave him the over the glasses look.

Tony Tony Tony

I love the Tony awards as much as I love the Oscars, it not more. I do not see the shows and I do not see the movies, but yet I get so swept up by both shows.

I think I understand the Oscar love - it is driven by the media and I am a sucker for the red carpet.

I think I really like the Tony's because live theater is such an interactive event. Here are people doing what they love / what G-d has called them to do 8 times a week, without a net. It is not for the money, people in commercials make more money. Why? because they just want to perform. And, they get to live in New York.

I was in a few shows in high school, in the chorus and an extra, I turned down a speaking part because I did not want to stutter in front of the whole town, as a teenager with other issues I did not want to deal with this. I had a great time, from learning the steps to putting on the make up. But the best thrill was the applause.

I felt the same way when I would give speeches on behalf of the candidates I supported. During the 1980 presidential race I was such a strident Carterite the Kennedy folks were afraid to introduce me to the family surrogates, that did not stop me from having a beer or two with some of Bobby's and Ethel's sons. They understood it was just politics and not personal.. After giving speeches and a few sermons since I was 13 or younger everyone was aware of the stutter and no one reacted (at least to my face).

What this has to do with my love of the Tony's. Not much.

Except maybe if one more person understands that we need to support the arts it was a success. And, it is the gayest night on TV and maybe some young guy living in Freemansburg will think Hmmm!! maybe I too can..........

But I really need both books

This afternoon Guy and I ended up at Marshalls looking for nothing but if we found it, aaahhhh how good would it be. After looking at the shoes, housewares and men's clothing we decided that there was nothing we had to buy.

While looking around I noticed a little girl about 10 + - sitting on the floor reading. Of course my first reaction was why is this child sitting on the floor reading? Why is she sitting in the middle of the aisle reading and how many overly made up women were pissed because they had to walk around her? I thought well good for you little girl, keep reading.

A few moments later she comes scampering across the store, books in hand, I hear "You're buy'n books? Why you doin that?" She explained to her parents (not sounding anything like them) how important these books were to her and why she had to have them. They seemed incredulous that she wanted books instead of something else. Mom said "fine, you can have one" and she begged for two but dad put down his foot and counted to one and said that is all she could have. Little girl continued to argue and plead for two books but dad said "we said one and we mean it, you can only have one book", now be quiet. I looked at Guy and said "did we really just hear that?" he said yes and gave me that sad teacher look of his.

I do believe little girl did get her 2nd book because she was relentless. Good for her.

I have to wonder what does the future hold for her? She is clearly smart. Will she have the strength to rise above her parents and some day become a teacher, district attorney, store manager, top chef or anything she wants. If anyone out there reading this and has a connection to G-d, please ask for protection for this little girl and ask G-d to let her learn about Justice (to be) Satomayor, Shirley Chisholm and Hillary Clinton or mine and Guy's mothers who did a pretty good job and allowed us to not only buy books but encouraged us to read them and discuss.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Senator you are no Catherine Baker Knoll

I knew Catherine Baker Knoll (CBK), I served with CBK, CBK was a friend of mine and Senator Specter you are no Catherine Baker Knoll. OK so I may be exaggerating a bit.
  • I did know CBK in a smiling nodding kind of way
  • I served on Dem State Committee with her in the 90's
  • I always felt proud to vote for her - so in that sense she was a friend

This weekend is the Dem State Comm. June meeting usually held in Pittsburgh. Usually a sleepy kind of low key event. This year the highlight is a dinner honoring the memory of the late great Catherine Baker Knoll.

She was a progressive, she was an honest person, she led by example, she was a force of nature, she was a leader, she was one of the best vote getter's in PA history, she had legions of loyal supporters (I often was one) and even if you did not support her she always deserved your respect.

CBK was not grandiose or flamboyant but she always owned the room. You always knew where she stood and no one has ever questioned her integrity or her motives. Her commitment to her family, her community, her commonwealth, and her nation was never doubted. She was a role model to young women across the nation.

Tonight's dinner honoring this great Democrat will be Arlen Specter's introduction to his new party. When all is said and done I don't think that many of the qualities I ascribed too CBK will be given to Sen. AllAboutMe. Arlen has always been and will always be about Arlen. He was OK for a Repub. but he is a poor Democrat.

Next year we could have been rid of him once and for all and a real Democrat would have been elected. I have not heard any compelling reason why the Pres, VP, Gov and Chair wanted this self involved man in the party.

I am prepared to come out of campaign retirement next year for two reasons.

  1. Support Admiral Sestak for the US Senate
  2. Support Bob Freeman for the State Senate (should he decide to go for it)

If I am stuck with a choice between Specter & Toomey I will write in my stand by write in candidate Jeff Parks. When ever I hate my choices I always write in Jeff.

Senator Specter has not earned my support in the Democratic primary and he will not get it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ms. Dowd if you're nasty

It has been two weeks and no Maureen Dowd, one would think that the Sotomayor nomination would have brought out the best in her. Much as I enjoy reading most of the NYT op eds, the only one I crave is Maureen Dowd.

Yes. Frank Rich often speaks for me, Paul Krugman makes sense almost every time, David Brooks does not offend for a conservative and Tom Friedman taught me a lot about foriegn policy (I am forgiving him for assisting in the lead up to the Bush war of choice). Some of our local columnists are great reads. No one and I mean no one sets my intellectual loins afire like Maureen Dowd.

From time to time over the years I have e-mailed Ms. Dowd but they all turn out to read like a 13 year old girl who just found the e-mail for Joe Jonas.
Is she writing a new book,? Is she just exhausted from twice weekly fits of brilliance? Does she have excessive vacation time? Is she just avoiding me?

All I know is that this is just so hard on me.

Only two more days til Sunday.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

By the way I promise to not tweet about the junky radio host or for least for as long as I can hold out

One hand clapping

The time has come to admit to one and all that Rush Limbaugh is a failure and does not deserve all the attention he is getting. Yes, he is the top talker in conservative radio, and we all know that means a great deal in the grand story that is our world. Other than that he has failed and continues to fail now. Some examples
  • Bush 41 was not re-elected
  • Bill Clinton served two terms and is viewed by most to be a successful president - he could have won a third term, thus saving us from W.
  • Called Chelsea Clinton a dog when she was just a child
  • Failed to stop Clinton Supreme Court picks
  • Failed to convince people that Al Gore is wrong about climate change
  • Still supports Bush on the war of choice on Iraq - most of us have seen the light
  • Failed to save Little Ricky Santorum and Sen Maccaca
  • Failed in mocking Michael J. Fox
  • Failed in trying to force Powell from the GOP, in fact he help restore Powell's luster
  • Defends Dick Cheney - other than David Duke the least liked person in American politics
  • Tried to convince us Sarah Palin was a good choice for VP
  • Failed to disrupt the Democratic presidential primary last year
  • President Obama
  • Failed to stop the stimulus package
  • Failed to stop Hillary from becoming Sec. of State
  • Failed to stop any Obama appointment
  • Failed to look and sound stupid when hoping for the president to fail, calling Sotomayor a racist, saying the president to doing Al Queda job for them

I could go on and on but you get the point. Rush now needs to fail to get all the free press he is getting. The TV talkers need to ignore him and I bet if they do he will become so needy and desperate for the attention he is addicted to he will say something so outrageous he will be driven from the national stage just like Michael Savage.

So I am calling on Mika & Joe, Keith, Wolf, Anderson, Rachel, Ed, George, Bill, Larry and all the rest of you top talkers on the right, left and center to ignore him, allow him to have his ditto heads and nothing else. I know it will be hard during those slow news days but please oh please try. The best thing you can do for any addict is to cut him or her off from what they crave the most.

Then the only clapping he will here will be that of his own hand.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

True no more

Last spring I was a Hillary supporter, not anti Obama, but I supported Hillary. In between the PA primary and the last primary we were invited to a party. During the cocktail hour I commented to someone I was meeting for the first time that if Obama were to be elected I could not wait to see the reactions of the true believers when he made his first compromise.

I predicted wrenching of clothing and wailing Why oh Why and a stream of bitter and heartbroken tears. I think the object of my martini humor turned out to be one the Obama true believers, though she did get over my insult and we had quite a nice conversation about the world we live in.

Well it turns out my prediction has come true and I am having fun watching it. I have long past the stage of true believer when it comes to politics and the fine art of government.

I began my interest in politics in the womb or not long after my release from it. I remember getting the other 4th grade boys, in 1968, to chant "Humphrey, Humphrey he's our man Nixon belongs in a garbage can" with me on election day. I was 9.

In 1972 I met my dear friend State Rep. Bob Freeman volunteering for George McGovern. In 1975/76 I began to convince some politically active adults to support Jimmy Carter. In 1980 the first year I could vote for President I was turning 21 and helping to run the Carter campaign and out of the house giving speeches almost every night during the primary and knocking on doors for Bob & Jeanette Reibman on weekends.

Throughout the 80's I had my heart broken by Mondale and Dukakis and various state and local campaigns. In 1992 I supported Clinton when few around here knew who he was. In 94 I ran a campaign for a very smart but train wreck of a candidate in the primary for state house, lost a race for State Committee and in the fall helped direct Bob's campaign for Senate - we lost by 141 votes to a far inferior person. After all that time I never stopped being a true believer, that is until the last vote was counted that year. It all came to an end. I moved on. I have never lost my interest in politics but never again would I let it consume me.

Recently, I reconnected with a long time pal from that era. We caught up and both came to the conclusion that we would never be true believers again. We both supported the now Sec. of State in the primary, but it took us a few moments after Hillary's concession speech to move over to Obama campaign. We both have become much stronger Obama supporters since the election because we have seen him run his government and make his appointments in a way that is best for the whole nation, not just his base of true believers. We started laughing that the more the president makes decisions that anger his Volvo driving early supporters the stronger our support has gotten. Why?

Because he is making the hard yet smart choices and he is governing with his head as well as his heart and many of those choices are enraging the true believers.

Now, you may ask why am I so opposed to true believers after having been one for such a long time?

Politics and government is best served by adults who are able to think clearly and do the right thing. True believers are blinded from the hard facts of reality by their own self righteousness.

It took Bob's defeat and something our congressman's wife said the day after election day to open my eyes to the bright light of realism and end my status as a true believer. If you run into me and you ask nice I may tell you what Kathy said to me that sunny November day 15 years ago.
I am planning to post some information about me. The question and answer routine. Just in case someone reads this blog he or she will know me a little better and maybe understand where I am coming from.

Big Ed on TV

Gov. Ed was just on Andrea Mitchell. He thinks that moderates do still exist in the GOP. The only real name he came up with was Tom Ridge and hinted that Ridge may run for President, which is why he did not run for the Senate. It is pretty sad that the only moderate Rendell could name was Tom Ridge. I know the list is getting smaller by the day but surely there must be more out there.
On the same token I hope that they continue to purge and create a more pure party. It will make it all the easier for the more progressive Dems to lead for at least a generation.

Here we go

Sitting here watching MSNBC and reading a local blog - lehighvalleyramblings - I am not sure how often I will post but this could be fun.