Friday, October 31, 2008

Chase: Bad Taste!

Of course I've spent the day in Philadelphia observing the giant celebration for the Phillies.
Not that I'm a baseball fan. I'm not.
But I'm happy for the Phillies and the city. And I love being where the action is. The celebration was fun and the fans have been great. As usual, my favorite player Cole Hamels was a class act all the way.
I call Cole "America's pitcher."
I'll say more about what I saw and heard (and who I met) in the city in another post.
But I just want to say how disappointed I am in Chase Utley. Just a few moments ago in front of a huge crowd at Citziens Bank Park (and more gathered at Lincoln Financial Field to watch on big screens) Chase was asked to come to the microphone and say a few words.
He looked out over the crowd of fans, families and children and exclaimed: "World F _ _ king Champs!"
Shame on you, Chase!
Couldn't you find anything better to say? If you're so inarticulate you should find someone within the Phillies organization to write some decent stuff for you.
It was all going quite well (and doing Philly proud) until you opened your toiletmouth!

Big Shifts To McC!

From an internal campaign memo written by Big Mac's pollster, Bill McInturff:
The McCain campaign has made impressive strides over the last week of tracking.
The campaign is functionally tied across the battleground states with our numbers IMPROVING sharply over the last four tracks. . . . all signs say we are headed to an election that may easily be too close to call by next Tuesday.

The race has moved significantly over the past week, closing to essentially tied on the last two-day roll. These gains are coming from sub-groups it should be possible to sustain over the next week, including:
- Non-college men;
- Rural voters, both men and women;
- Right-to-life voters; and most encouragingly;
- We are beginning to once again get over a 20% chunk of the vote among soft Democrats.
Importantly as well, our long identified target of Walmart women - those women without a college degree in households under $60,000 a year in income are also swinging back solidly in our direction.
Finally, in terms of critical improvement, even as this track shows more Republicans voting for us than Democrats supporting Obama, we are witnessing an impressive pop with Independent voters. . . .

This has been the week where Joe the Plumber has literally become a household name. An astounding 59% of voters in these battleground states have heard a lot about this story, 83% have heard a lot or some about this episode.
The 59% dwarfs the other stories/thematic elements we are tracking this week.
The campaigns relentless focus has helped strengthen our margins on the issue of taxes and broadened as well to the attribute of handling the economy and jobs. . . .

In our tracking, now 59% of battleground voters describe Senator Obama as being a liberal, a percentage that is higher than previous Democrat losers Gore/Kerry, and significantly higher than for President Clinton and President Carter.
A majority (54%) of voters profile as saying Senator Obama is more liberal than they see themselves politically.
As Senator Obamas profile as a liberal increases, it has helped further erode his support among key sub-groups.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

11 Million Views!

This message has been viewed an astounding 11 million times on You Tube. It's an instant classic and has becopme the most-viewed message of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Watch it. Listen closely. Take it all in.
It's authentic. It's true. It's honest. It's compelling. It's one of the most powerful messages you will ever see.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

At Last!

Closer Brad Lidge reacts after sealing the Phils' World Series victory.
The last time this happened was 1980 and this time is every bit as exuberant if not more so - every bit as joyous and uproarious. It's exultant; overwhelming.
Aimee Cirucci reports from center city that Broad Street is overflowing with people. Fans have spilled out from everywhere into a massive spontaneous street party. It's like Christmas, New Years and the Fourth of July all rolled into one.
We join with all Philadelphians in congratulating the Phillies, the Phans and the city!

MLB Waits For Obama

Major League Baseball screws up a rain-delayed game that shouldn't have been played in the first place then goes ahead and delays the start of thw World Series game so the OH!man can make yet another speech.
While you're waiting for the baseball game to start tonight you can thank Obama for the delay!
Shame on Obama and his people for making baseball fans wait.
Shame on MLB for cooperating with it all!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mystery Man

Who is Barack Obama and what is he hiding?
Consider the following:
1. Occidental College records — Not released
2. Columbia College records — Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper — ‘not available’
4. Harvard College records — Not released
5. Selective Service Registration — Not released
6. Medical records — Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule — ‘not available’
8. Law practice client list — Not released
9. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate - - Not released
10. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth — Not released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published — None
12. University of Chicago scholarly articles — None
13. Your Record of baptism– Not released or ‘not available’
14. Your Illinois State Senate records–’not available’

Monday, October 27, 2008

MLB Sucks!

It was greed.
Greed, greed, greed!
The runaway greed of professional sports prevented the Phillies from winning the world championship last night.
Baseball should never be played this late in the year. Never. But now they've gotta have playoffs on top of playoffs on top of playoffs to the point where you need a damned computer to figure out where we are in the playoffs. More games; more money.
It's almost November. It's cold. It's damp. It's sloppy.
No time for baseball.
But $$$$$ drive the game now.
OK, that's strike one.
Then, everybody knew it was gonna rain. So, this game should have been played on Tuesday AFTERNOON so that it could be finished. After all, baseball was meant to be played in DAYLIGHT anyway! That's the way the game's supposed to be played.
But once again, greed won. The TV audience and commercial bucks drive the game. That means you have to play it and air it during prime time. This creates a circus atmosphere, a drunken orgy and next-day working stiffs who are googly-eyed if they get into work at all.
That's two strikes.
And then finally, they went and changed the damned rules. They HAD to tinker.
Under the old rules, the final Rays' run in the 6th would have been undone, and -- believe it or not -- the Phillies would have won the game 2-1 and won the World Series.
But as I understand it, the rule was changed in 2007. Now, the game is suspended and will be resumed where it left off.
This new rule is dumb.
How in hell do they resume the game tomorrow?
How do you suspend the World Series in the middle of a game?
Strike three!
Major league Baseball: You are OUT!

Join Us Tomorrow!

Luncheon Program
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
“From Main St. to Wall St.
The Role of Public Relations in Election '08”
Location: Table 31Private Dining Room (3rd Floor)1701 JFK Blvd.The Comcast Building Philadelphia, PA 19103
All meeting attendees need to go through security in the lobby of the Comcast Building to access the Private Dining Room on the 3rd Floor. Table 31’s Private Dining Room is located to the right as you exit the elevator on the 3rd Floor.
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Registration & Networking12:00 - 1:30 PM
Lunch and Program Cost: $45 for members;
$55 for non-members;$25 for students;
Additional $5 for Walk-ins
As the country gears up for an election unlike any in its history, two of the most unique presidential campaigns ever are leveraging various public relations tactics in the battle for the White House. Join PPRA and some of Philadelphia's top political media and expert political analysts as they discuss the role of public relations in these historic political machines and dissect what this election cycle has taught us about the communications profession, from ethics and integrity to public opinion and influence.Panelists include:Dan Cirucci (Moderator), PPRA Hall-of-Famer and political bloggerGreg Coy, Co-host of CN8’s “Your Morning”Larry Eichel, Philadelphia InquirerChristine Flowers, Philadelphia Daily NewsJeff Jubelirer, Principal, Ceisler Jubelirer and political analyst
Click here to download the registration form.
Click here for online registration for the October Program.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Best Of Austin!

On Friday night here in Austin we ate at Truluck's (pronounced True Luck's) steak and seafood restaurant.
Trulucks is upscale and sophisticated with a sleek atmosphere, hip patrons and a pianist who plays show tunes and light jazz.
The place specializes in Alaskan king crab and other specialities. The martinis are big, icy cold and perfectly mixed. For dinner, we enjoyed trout and halibut and both were prepared to perfection.
On Saturday we lunched at Guero's Taco Bar. Guero's has been around for a long time and it is a mecca here in Austin. Everything - corn tacos, chips and salsa - is made on the premises. We enjoyed both steak and chicken tacos. This is how good the fresh made corn tacos are: You can eat the taco alone and enjoy it.
For dessert we headed across the street on Congress Ave. to Hey, Cupcake - a trailer that serves the best cupcakes in Austin. The standard cupcake (vanilla cake with chocolate icing and a shot of whipped cream on top) is two bucks and it is the dreamiest cupcake you will ever eat -- light, fluffy with a silky icing. Two people can share one of these cupcakes and each will enjoy an extraordinary sweet treat. I'm told that 5.000 cupcakes a day are sold from this trailer and I can believe it.
Of course we still longed for some real Texas barbecue so we saved that treat for dinner.
We journeyed up toward West Lake and Bee Cave to enjoy County Line BBQ on the hill. We watched a spectacular sunset over Texas hill country while we ate chicken and beef brisket barbecue.
BTW: The weather in Texas is beautiful this time of year. It's been sunny every day with temperatures in the mid to high 70s. The huge sky is blue, blue, blue. The sun is gentle and it shines at just the right angle. The evenings are cool and relaxing. There is little or no rain. It's one day after another just like this. Wonderful!

The Texas Way

We've been having a great time here in the Lone Star State and today we did a tour of the Texas State Capitol.
Would you believe that the Texas state legislature meet only 142 days every other year?
Texas has citizen legislators. They don't get paid very much because they really are are part time emplyess.
They only meet every other year. And they manage to conduct all the necessry business of a very large, very sophisticated state -- a state with a budget that is larger than that of most nations.
Sort of makes me wonder about Joisey and Pennsylvania. When those legislatures are in session (and they are in session a lot) it seems that major damage is done. The more they meet, the worse things get.
Keeping the legislature out of session makes sense!
If Texas can do it, why can't we?

Tiny Vote For McC!

Scranton made the big time this year. Sort-of native daughter Hillary Clinton was shaking glass from her hair as she hammered away at that ceiling.
Native son Joe Biden was tapped to be the Democratic veep pick.
Native son Bob Casey Jr. made lots of new friends at the Democratic convention by making nice on the abortion issue.
But perhaps the most important appearance Scranton will make in this election is in the person of a man named Joseph Martino.
You've heard of Joe the Plumber - well, this is Joe the Bishop.
Joseph Martino is head of
Scranton's Catholic diocese, which may hold the key to at least one battleground state. Catholics are a good bellwether for national trends. And Bishop Martino is trying to make sure his flock trends in the right direction.
He recently issued a letter warning that "being 'right' on taxes, education, health care, immigration and the economy fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of human life."
This is a swipe at prominent cafeteria Catholics and noted theologians like Nancy Pelosi who've tried to argue that Catholics shouldn't be one-issue voters. Knowing that many Catholics tend to be squeamish about the party's stand on abortion, Democrats have tried to appeal to this important demographic by playing bait-and-switch - if they can divert our attention from their support for the abortion lobby, we'll be able to pull the lever for Obama. . . .

To read the rest of Christine Flowres' wonderful column from the Philadelphia Daily News and Real Clear Politics, click here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Red State Fun

We needed to sink our feet solidly into the soil of a true Red State for awhile.
So, we flew to our beloved Texas.
And we're here in Austin for the National Association of Bar Executives annual Communications Workshop where we will conduct a workshop and present this year's E. A. Wally Richter Leadership Award.
Austin is a beautiful city - and one that has preserved and restored so many lovely and historic buildings. This town sits like a finely polished gem on the Colorado River and our hotel has a lovely river view.
Austin is also the state capital and few states have a more stately and impressive capitol dome than Texas. While we're here we will be enjoying many of the historic attractions.
But last night we whooped it up with colleagues at Esther's Follies which is Austin's version of comedy, vaudeville, satire and music all combined into a show that is sort of like Washington's Capital Steps. (Cast of Esther's pictured).
The show lampooned everyone and incorporated a healthy share of audience participation. Esther's sits right in the heart of Austin's lively Sixth Street entertainment district which is lined with music havens that offer potent libations.
This is a mecca for live music and Sixth Street is the place to be.
In fact, Austin bills itself as "the live music capital of the world."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Join Us On Oct. 28!

Luncheon Program – Tuesday, October 28, 2008

“From Main St. to Wall St. –
The Role of Public Relations in Election '08”

Location: Table 31
Private Dining Room (3rd Floor)
1701 JFK Blvd.
The Comcast Building
Philadelphia, PA 19103

All meeting attendees need to go through security in the lobby of the Comcast Building to access the Private Dining Room on the 3rd Floor. Table 31’s Private Dining Room is located to the right as you exit the elevator on the 3rd Floor.

Time: 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Registration & Networking
12:00 - 1:30 PM Lunch and Program

Cost: $45 for members;

$55 for non-members;
$25 for students;

Additional $5 for Walk-ins

As the country gears up for an election unlike any in its history, two of the most unique presidential campaigns ever are leveraging various public relations tactics in the battle for the White House. Join PPRA and some of Philadelphia's top political media and expert political analysts as they discuss the role of public relations in these historic political machines and dissect what this election cycle has taught us about the communications profession, from ethics and integrity to public opinion and influence.

Panelists include:
Dan Cirucci (Moderator), PPRA Hall-of-Famer and political blogger
Greg Coy, Co-host of CN8’s “Your Morning”
Larry Eichel, Philadelphia Inquirer
Christine Flowers, Philadelphia Daily News
Jeff Jubelirer, Principal, Ceisler Jubelirer and political analyst

Thank You!

Our blog has now been rated one of the TOP FOUR POLITICAL BLOGS IN NEW JERSEY by Blog Net News New Jersey.
Yesterday, we had one of our biggest days ever with a record number of visitors.
The column in the Philadelphia Daily News on baseball was picked up by the national blog and that same column was the MOST READ DAILY NEWS OPINION COLUMN OF THE DAY.
At Lucianne and the Daily News web site the column generated a healthy number of responses.
We appreciate all the responses.
We welcome respectful disagreement.
We repeat: We LOVE the Phillies and are cheering for them. We just think that baseball is an awfully slow and (mostly) boring game.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Go Phillies, But . . .

For the first time in 15 years the Phillies are in the World Series. It's great. It's well-deserved. It's thrilling.
And even though the Tampa Bay Rays are clearly this year's Cinderella team, I'd love to see the Phillies win it all. But no matter how it turns out, one thing will remain true: Baseball is an insufferably boring pastime.
Except for the pitcher, catcher and hitter, all the players simply stand around waiting for something to happen. Huge amounts of time drift by aimlessly.
Players have to work hard to stay awake. So they chew gum or tobacco, spit, grab their crotches, shift their feet, adjust their caps, brush themselves off and gaze about hoping they'll actually have something to do. . . .

To read my entire column from this morning's Philadelphia Daily News, click here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Easy Eatin Fajitas!

I hate to play with my food.
I don't like to peel fruit, shell crabs, crack open nuts or construct fajitas.
That's why I was delighted to discover the new fajita quesadillas at Chilli's. They're wonderful!
They consist of fajita-marinated steak or chicken with grilled onions and Jack cheese in buttery toasted tortillas. They are served with rice, black beans, sour cream & pico de gallo.
The tortillas (about a half dozen) are already prepared and stuffed and they're just the right size to pick up and eat. So, you don't have to construct the fajita and then endure the frustration of having it fall apart while you're trying to eat it.
I enjoyed this new treat over the weekend at Chilli's and I liked the meal so much that I came back again and enjoyed a Caribbean salad. Note: The classic, crunchy Caribbean salad isn't on the menu anymore but you're local Chilli's will probably be happy to prepare it for you if you ask for it. Mine was!
I also recommend the new Crispy Chicken Tacos. They’re made with strips of real white-meat chicken, cooked until golden brown, and topped with Ranch and Chipotle sauce. And try Chilli's Buffalo Chicken Crisper Bites with applewood-smoked bacon and blue cheese dressing.

Follow The Money

FEC Commission records show that former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote a check for $2,300.00 (the maximum allowed by law) to the John McCain campaign last year. Since that time Powell has not given to any other presidential candidate. McCain is the only candidate to receive Powell's money.
BTW: John McCain enjoys the endorsement of FOUR former US Secretaries of State and more than 20 military generals.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Five Greatest Hymns

Since it is Sunday, let's talk about the five greatest hymns ever written.
In reverse order from five to one, here they are:
5. His Eye Is On The Sparrow
This song was originally written in 1905 by songwriters, lyricist Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. The song is most associated with the late actress-singer Ethel Waters who used the title for her autobiography.
4. Just a Closer Walk With Thee
It was probably the favorite southern gospel song of the twentieth century and it is written by D.Gillis. It became known nationally in the 1930s, when African-American churches held huge musical conventions. In the 1940s, southern gospel quartets featured it in all-night gospel-singing rallies. It is probably the single most frequently played number in the hymn and dirge section of New Orleans "jazz funerals".
3. What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Originally written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Scriven originally published the poem anonymously, and only received full credit for it in the 1880s. The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Croza Converse in 1868. William Bolcom composed a setting of the hymn. The hymn also has many versions with different lyrics in multiple languages
2. Amazing Grace
John Newton, the author of the lyrics to Amazing Grace, was born in 1725 in Wapping, England.
Despite the powerful message of "Amazing Grace," Newton's religious beliefs initially lacked conviction; his youth was marked by religious confusion and a lack of moral self-control and discipline.
After a brief time in the Royal Navy, Newton began his career in slave trading. The turning point in Newton's spiritual life was a violent storm that occurred one night while at sea. Moments after he left the deck, the crewman who had taken his place was swept overboard. Although he manned the vessel for the remainder of the tempest, he later commented that, throughout the tumult, he realized his helplessness and concluded that only the grace of God could save him. Prodded by what he had read in Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ, Newton took the first step toward accepting faith.
1. How Great Thou Art.
Surely the most melodic and inspiring hymn ever written, it has won universal praise and acceptance. Written by Carl Gustav Boberg in Sweden in 1885, translated into English by Stuart K. Hine. It was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during Billy Graham crusades.
This hymn was the title track of Elvis Presley's second gospel LP "How Great Thou Art", which was released in 1967. The song won him a Grammy Award for "Best Sacred Performance" in 1967, and another Grammy in 1974 for "Best Inspirational Performance (Non-Classical)".
Boberg wrote the hymn following a two mile walk through a thunderstorm from a church meeting.
It was voted the United Kingdom's favorite hymn by BBC's Songs of Praise.
These five great hymns have been a source of comfort to me at various times in my life and I find that I return to the music and words of these hymns again and again.
I feel that each one of these hymns was touched by God -- inspired by the Lord himself. On this earth, you can't get much closer to heaven than that.

Catholic Voter's Guide

After Mass today we received a small 16-page booklet entitled "Voter's Guide For Serious Catholics."
The booklet is produced by Catholic Answers Action and receives wide distribution both in print form and via the Catholic Answers Action website.
The Voter's Guide identifies non-negotiable moral issues in current politics and helps the voter narrow down the list of acceptable candidates, whether they are running for national, state or local office.
Non-negotiable moral principles do not admit of exception or compromise. One's position either accords with these principles or does not. No one endorsing the wrong side of these issues can be said to act in accordance with the Church's moral norms.
Of course, abortion is the paramount non-negotiable and the first listed. Others include human cloning and euthanasia.
The Guide says: It is a serious sin to deliberately endorse or promote any of these [non-negotiable] actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any action contrary to the non-negotiable principles involved in these issues.
On abortion, the Guide clearly states: The Church teaches that regarding a law permitting abortions, it is 'never licit to obey it or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it.' . . . The unborn child is always an innocent party and no law may permit the taking of his life.
We stress that the Guide enunciates the official teachings of the Catholic Church as proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, The Pontifical Council for the Family, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Did He Blow It?

From James Pethokoukis at US News & World Report:
Did Barack "Spread the Wealth" Obama Just Blow the Election?
No. Really.
You're kidding me. Barack Obama actually told that Joe the Plumber guy that he wants to "spread the wealth around." What, did Obama just get done reading the Wikipedia entry on Huey "Share the Wealth" Long or something? Was he somehow channeling that left-wing populist from the Depression? Talk about playing into the most extreme stereotype of your party, that it is infested with socialists.
A while back I chatted with a University of Chicago professor who was a frequent lunch companion of Obama's. This professor said that Obama was as close to a full-out Marxist as anyone who has ever run for president of the United States. Now, I tend to quickly dismiss that kind of talk as way over the top. My working assumption is that Obama is firmly within the mainstream of Democratic politics. But if he is as free with that sort of redistributive philosophy in private as he was on the campaign trail this week, I have no doubt that U of C professor really does figure him as a radical. And after last night's debate, a few more Americans might think that way, too. McCain's best line: "Now, of all times in America, we need to cut people's taxes. We need to encourage business, create jobs, not spread the wealth around."
And by the way, I just noticed that the IBD/TIPP poll, the most accurate in 2004, has McCain down by just 3 points. If the contest is perceived by the voters as a contest between a wealth redistributor and a wealth creator, then it could be a long night come Nov. 4. This is still a center-right country, gang. Note this Gallup poll from June:
When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today's consumer, Americans overwhelmingly—by 84% to 13%—prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans.
There you go.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

'Spread The Wealth?'

What is the purpose of taxes?
According to everything I've ever learned taxes are collected so that the government can have the money that is needs to provide essential services to the people.
Seems pretty simple to me.
But now it seems that some people are trying to redefine the whole concept of taxes and the very role of government.
They're telling us that taxes need to be collected to redistribute income.
They're saying that if we don't agree to have our hard-earned money taken away and given to people who they think need it more than we do well, then we're just not "patriotic."
They're saying that taxes must now be imposed as a way of punishing success.
So, "wealthy' people will just have to be penalized.
And guess who gets to decide who's "wealthy?" Why, it's the same people who are going to do the penalizing -- the same people who are aiming to collect the money and redistribute it.
They define. They decide. They redistribute.
These people who want to turn taxes into a predatory system for redistributing wealth basically want to change the definition of and the role of government.
Today, they're suggesting that $250,000 may be a good definition of "wealthy." But since they get to decide when we've earned enough money, who knows what their definition may be tomorrow. $200,000? $150,000? $100,000? $75,0000?
We don't know.
They call this "spreading the wealth around."
I call it socialism.

Cool Cole!

We don't know the first thing about sports (least of all baseball) but, here's what we wrote about Philies pitcher Cole Hamels after meeting him way back in April at the beginning of the baseball season:
He is one of the most articulate, polished, and gracious athletes we've ever met. This San Diego native is not just The Pitcher From Central Casting, he's also an appealing ambassador for his team and for major league baseball. We watched him interact with some of the youngsters who came out to see him and he was attentively kind and natural.
Last night Cole was unflappably confident and chillingly effective as he led the Phillies to their first National League Championship in 15 years. Incredibly, Cole has now marked three wins and no losses in the playoffs, an accomplishment we haven't seen since Curt Schlilling pitched.
And Cole was his usual gracious self after the game, spreading credit around to the entire team.
Does Philly really deserve such a classy guy? Who cares!?
Cool, Cole -- Cool!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

'Stop' Tour Kicks Off

The mother of a U.S. Marine who has served in Iraq, and a black singer will lead a national bus tour rallying Americans to reject the Obama/Biden ticket and instead support the McCain/Palin campaign. The "Stop Obama Tour: will launch this Wednesday, October 15th rallying Americans at 35 cities in swing states across the nation. The tour will take place from October 15th – 29th.
Military Mom Deborah Johns' son is a United States Marine who has served several tours of duty in the War on Terror, including three tours of duty in Iraq. Lloyd Marcus, has already attracted attention in the 2008 presidential campaign with his song "Sarah Smile" -- a tribute to Republican vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. (You can see the video to "Sarah Smile" - HERE).
Also leading the "Stop Obama Tour" will be radio talk show host and television news & politics analyst, Mark Williams, who will be blogging and podcasting on the events taking place throughout the tour.
“The Stop Obama Tour” is a project of the “Our Country Deserves Better” committee an independent federal political action committee that has already raised several hundred thousand dollars from everyday Americans in the effort to support the McCain/Palin campaign.Local elected officials and community leaders will also speak at the rallies which will take place in: California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Nine rallies alone will take place in Michigan, as the Our Country Deserves Better Committee has stepped in to fill the void created by the decision of the McCain campaign to pull its own resources out of Michigan, and focus their staffing and ad spending in other states. The national tour will be supported by an extensive television advertising campaign with commercials having already begun across Nevada, then to begin in Colorado, and a heavy media buy to begin later this week in Michigan. Again, the committee’s determination to step in and wage an aggressive campaign to defeat Obama in the Great Lake State comes in the wake of the McCain campaign’s drawdown of resources from the state.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bravo, Bravo, Italia!

Before this Columbus Day passes let's reflect on what a glorious, glorious day it was.
Amidst unseasonably warm weather and under a bright sun President George W. Bush greeted Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlosconi at the White House today.
The occasion was replete with pomp and grandeur.
We watched the whole event on C-SPAN and so enjoyed seeing the White House festooned with American and Italian flags. President Bush pulled out all the stops to greet Prime Minister Berlusconi and honor Italy on this important day in world history and it was all entirely appropriate. Italy is one of our nation's best friends and closest allies and Berlusconi is a great leader in his own right.
Watching these two world leaders as they walked along the White House lawn to review the troops we thought of the enduring alliance that has linked our two nations.
Few Presidents have been as respectful and attentive to the needs of Italy and the concerns of Italian-Americans as President George W. Bush. And President Bush is at his best on these occasions, honoring the Presidency and conducting himself with dignity and appropriate formality.
Though President Bush will leave office in less than 100 days, we hope that President Berlusconi remains at the helm of Bella Italia for a long, long time. We shall need him there.
Three cheers for America! Bravo, Italia!

"Palin's a C_ _ T!"

Friends of ours who live in center city say that these fourescent tee-shirts declaring "PALIN IS A C _ _ T!" are frequently sighted on Philly sidewalks.
This photo shows four of the Palin haters outside the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue where Palin made a recent fund-raising apperance. These four were part of a group of hundreds of leftist thugs who showed up to jeer and disrupt the event. Like their counterparts in Manhattan, they are loud, crude, and grossly intolerant. Their chants could be heard blocks away even in the upper reaches of a residential high rise.
These are the same people who preach to others about tolerance. But these people are also the same ones who want to eliminate all opposition speech. To them, tolerance means one thing: "Agree with us, or shut up!"
By comparison, that woman in Naples with the "We R So Screwed . . . " sign seems tame, indeed. Warning to Naples lady: Be careful. The speech thugs may be on their way.
Photo provided by

Reba 'Duets' Soars!

More than a year after its release Reba McEntire's stunning Duets albumn continues to break records and capture awards.
On this outing Reba sings with LeAnn Rimes, Ronnie Dunn, Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood, Carole King, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Don Henley and Justin Timberlake, among others.
Two of my favorites are Does The Wind Still Blow in Oklahoma? (with Dunn) and Because of You (with Clarkson). Reba has been touring with Clarkson at sellout concerts all over the country.
It's no accident that this albumn was produced by Tony Brown who is the guiding force behind the career of so many country stars including George Strait.
Now, on October 28 Reba will release the box set of her 50 Greatest Hits.
But back to Duets: No woman in country music (and possibly no male or female singer in any genre) has a more distinctive voice than Reba McEntire.
From the moment you hear the voice, you know it: fierce and powerful, clear and passionate, a voice that could belong to no one else but the woman millions of fans the world over know only as Reba. So what do you do when you're the owner of that iconic voice -- and the embodiment of a genre-bending artistic presence that spans the worlds of music, screen and stage? If you're Reba McEntire, you find creative soul mates in 11 other amazing voices and produce a groundbreaking collection of music simply titled Reba Duets.
Though Reba is country through and through, as she sees it, amazing songs have little to do with genre, and everything to do with emotion and nuance. “I've been a fan of different kinds of music all my life,” she says. “I really don't like to categorize music. To me, there's only two categories: good and bad. And I try to sing the good songs, and listen to good music. When it touches my heart, and I can deliver it with all my heart and soul, then it's a good Reba McEntire song. In the end, I want all the songs to touch my listener's hearts.”

Sunday, October 12, 2008


You may have noticed: Some people feel very strongly about this election.
This is an actual photo that a friend snapped in Naples, Florida this weekend.
And since we're all in favor of free speech, we encourage everyone to get out and let your voice be heard. Talk, shout, make signs or, as the OH!man himself says: "Get in their faces!"
And it's OK if you use your imagination. Rugged indvidualism made this country great.
But hurry. You'll need to take advantage of your freedom while you can.

Thanks, Mr. Snider!

We thank Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider for inviting Governor Sarah Palin to Philadelphia last night to drop the first puck at the Flyers Game. Snider is a man with the courage of his convictions and his convcitions are well placed.
Snider is shown above with participants from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation before a recent Flyers game. Launched three years ago, the foundation uses hockey to help educate young people on how to succeed in life. The foundation serves more than 2,000 boys and girls throughout the Delaware Valley.
Ed Snider has done a great deal for the city and the region. He's a class act, even when Flyers fans are not.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yeah, Let's Fight!

Tomorrow all of the Sunday talk shows and all of the "elite" big city dailies will be leading with stories about the "anger" of John McCain's supporters and the chattering class will declare that outright "hatred" seems to have infected the McCain campaign. Don't be fooled.
Yes -- McCain's Army is Angry. Very angry.
And yes, a lot of the anger is close to (or could turn into) hatred.
But it's not Obama that the McCain troops are angry at.
And it's not Joe Biden or Michelle Obama that are the targets of the anger -- even though Obama, Biden and Michelle are hardly favorites among McCain loyalists.
No, the McCain crowd isn't really angry at any of them.
It's John McCain who has aroused the anger of McCainiacs. It's McCain that they're angry with.
They're angry because McCain isn't honing his messages clearly enough, isn't touching on the right issues, isn't perfecting his attack, isn't pounding away, isn't fighting hard enough.
These people know McCain is a warrior who fights for what he believes in and they want to see him fight, really fight. They want to see the fight in his eyes and hear it in his words and understand it in his actions. They know that time is short and if the battle is to be brought to the fore then it must happen now - because they know they can win.
McCain raised their expectation before the last debate by indicated he would lead the charge. Then, when he climbed into the ring, he delivered a tepid performance at best.
Yes, there are others who are sources of frustration and anger -- most notably the media. Still, McCain's people understand that they don't have a helluva lot of control over the mainstream media.
But they do like to think that they might have some sway over McCain.
In politics you simply don't get to win the top prize without fighting like hell, especially if you're not an incumbent.
So, don't buy all that nonsense about hatred and vitriol. There's more than enough frustration to go around.
But, it's a renewed fighting spirit that the McCain people are interested in -- what FDR used to call "a good fight." It's the type of spirit Truman used to relish and Reagan used to excel at.
That's what the crowd wants: Stand up, lead the charge, fight, win!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Phabulous Phightins!

A friend who was there writes this eyewitness account from Thursday night's Phillies game:
What a night, what a game. It was all too exciting. We were in the Hall of Fame section--which is the area behind home plate. A private elevator takes you up to where the club and private boxes are. We had dinner there and then viewed alot of memorabilia from Phillies days gone by. Our seats were a couple of rows below the press and TV boxes--perfect viewing. Of course, the most important thing is that we won the first game. I don't know if you saw that before the game the various military branches lined the field with the 50 state flags and behind them was a gigantic flag, that covered the entire outfield carried by more military men. Very moving, especially when they also lit the sky with fireworks. It was a proud moment for everyone in the stadium. Our city has waited a long time for this--and it was a great beginning. Dare I think The World Series!

Cheers For Ernie!

I've been reading Ernest Borgnine's autobiography simply titled Ernie and it's a remarkable story of an seemingly ordinary guy who became a major Oscar-winning Hollywood star.
I suppose you could say that Ernest Borgnine was the ultimate everyman -- the ordinary Joe (or in this case, Marty) who captured the imagination of audiences everywhere.
But beyond his Academy Award winning performance in Paddy Chayefsky's Marty, Borgnine has produced a huge and impressive body of work on both the big and small screen.
Yes, we wept at his impressive portrayal of Marty but we also gasped when he took on Frank Sinatra in From Here to Eternity … we were riveted by his compelling performances in The Dirty Dozen, Bad Day at Black Rock, and Ice Station Zebra … and we laughed at his television sitcom McHale's Navy.
Many of us loved all of Ernest Borgnine's portrayals, but what did we really know about the man behind the famous roles? In this book, for the first time, he tells us in his own words the fascinating story of his life in a witty, candid, and revealing manner.
This is an easy and fun read with with a good insight into the everyday workings of Hollywood. You'll learn about some of the people and moments that made the great movies and the TV shows that marked the golden age of television.
Borgnine reveals personal insights and stories about cinema's greatest icons-including Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Kirk Douglas, Montgomery Clift, Gary Cooper, Janet Leigh, Raquel Welch, GeneHackman, Rock Hudson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Curtis, Alan Ladd, Glenn Ford, and Burt Lancaster. And with characteristic frankness, he also talks about his off-screen loves and passions.
Ernie's is a compelling story.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Urban Schools' Failure

From Mensah M. Dean at the Philadelphia Daily News:
Looking back on her brief stint as a Philadelphia schoolteacher causes "Rebecca" to shake her head sorrowfully.
Every day of that career, she says, she had to break up fights between her fourth-graders, who cursed and threatened each other - often making good on the taunts.
She spent far more time on discipline than on teaching.
Administrators at Samuel H. Daroff School offered her little help and did not provide a promised mentor teacher, she says.
So, on the seventh day of classes, Rebecca quit - walking away from a $41,000-a-year job in the School District of Philadelphia.
Rebecca - not her real name - has $50,000 in student loans, but says she does not regret leaving because her mental health was at stake.
"It was the worst experience of my life," she says of the first day of class, Sept. 4, at the West Philadelphia school.

To read the rest of the story click here.

Calder Jewlery

On Sunday we enjoyed a wonderful exhibition of jewelry designed and crafted by renowned American sculptor Alexander Calder. This exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Museum dramatic new Perelman Building is a "must see."
Recognized as one of America’s most innovative modern artists, Alexander Calder (1898–1976) redefined sculpture through his iconic mobiles, stabiles, and the popular Cirque Calder. Calder’s work in metal jewelry, however, is one form of his artistic output that is less known. Throughout his life, the artist produced more than 1,800 jewelry works of art, each made entirely by hand. This is the first exhibition devoted exclusively to his unique body of jewelry work, and consists of approximately one hundred objects, including necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings, and tiaras.
Calder’s love of abstraction was incorporated into all of his sculptural work, and his jewelry was no exception—it is this abstraction that sets the jewelry apart.
Calder created personalized pieces of jewelry for family, friends, and acquaintances by incorporating monograms or shaping names into decorative patterns. He also displayed and sold his jewelry through trunk shows and gallery exhibits. His well-designed jewelry, made of nonprecious materials, was reasonably priced; however, Calder’s distinctive jewelry was not conventional adornment for the average woman.
This is a huge and varied exhibition of some of the most unusual jewelry you will ever see. But hurry, the exhibition closes on November 2.

Invade Pakistan?

A debate observation from an ever-perceptive friend:
This whole thing is sooooo utterly ridiculous -- that Obama is strong on defense because he wants to go after terrorists in Pakistan!
He's calling for an invasion of Pakistan.
You cannot attack a soverign country on any grounds -- the international and diplomatic implications are insane.
But the media don't care because of a tacit understanding that it is just something Obama is saying and has no intention of doing -- and they are probably right. This is Obama's way of trying to court the people who cling "to religion and guns."
And the press is giving him a pass on it! The media essentially are in on it and are just the mouthpiece of the Obama campaign. No questions asked!
If McCain has said this the headline would be "McCain Calls for Invasion of Pakistan"

Brokaw: Disaster

Tom Brokaw was a disaster last night.
A disaster.
Look, this is a rule none of us should forget: Know when to move on. In your career, in your life, in everything you undertake you must never overstay your welcome. If you do, you run the very real risk of becoming stale and out of touch.
As time goes on you become a not-very-kind charicature of yourself.
Brokaw, a former NBC anchorman, needs to move on. He should not be moderating presidential debates. He was awkward, wooden and unable to control the flow of discussion.
For now, Brokaw should stick to writing books.
As for the audience, they were not much better. Audience members sat there like a bunch of deer in headlights.
The setting was uninspired and the questions were dumb.
The whole thing was stilted and the evening was b-o-r-i-n-g.
If you missed it, consider yourself lucky.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

McC Help In Michigan

The battle for Michigan’s 17 electoral votes in the presidential race is far from over, as an aggressive new effort to defeat the Obama/Biden campaign in the Great Lake State has been announced.
The Our Country Deserves Better Committee (, a registered federal political action committee, is launching a $500,000+ effort against Obama’s Michigan campaign. The effort will combine a statewide television advertising campaign with a “Stop Obama” tour across the Upper and Lower Peninsulas that will include pro-McCain/Palin and anti-Obama/Biden rallies in 8 Michigan cities including: Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Alpena, Sault Ste. Marie, Marquette and Iron Mountain.
The Our Country Deserves Better PAC is launching efforts against the Obama/Biden campaign in support of the McCain/Palin campaign in several key swing states including: Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. But Michigan has become the committee’s #1-priority.
“Senator Obama doesn’t represent change at all for Michigan. His high-tax, anti-business policies have already been implemented by the failed regime of Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm, and we don’t need any more of that,” said Howard Kaloogian, Chairman of the Our Country Deserves Better Committee.
“Is it any wonder that the person who advised the Obama/Biden ticket on how to sell the same failed liberal policies in their debate prep was none other than the Tax Queen herself, Gov. Granholm? To think Obama and Biden had Granholm playing the role of Gov. Sarah Palin in their mock debates, when Palin is a popular governor who has overseen economic growth, tax cuts, and prosperity for the people of Alaska, while Gov. Granholm has presided over a exodus of people, businesses and jobs from the state of Michigan,” said Kaloogian
“We’ve seen the disaster that Michigan’s Democrat Governor, Democrat Lieutenant Governor, two Democrat U.S. Senators, and corrupt Democrat Mayor of Detroit have brought to the state. The tax-and-spend, anti-business policies have helped to create a one-state depression, which we cannot allow to be turned into a national depression under the same policies supported by Barack Obama,” Kaloogian said.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fight Is On!

It was inevitable.
Even before you begin to criticize Obama he cries "Smear!"
And he's been doing it for a long time.
Obama wails like a baby whenever you try to ask about Ayers or Rezko or Pfleger or Wright or Walsh or any of the many questionable characters and activities in Obama's past.
He doesn't answer. He doesn't explain.
He simply name calls and cries "Foul!"
It's preemptive, calculated, sneaky and hypocritical.
Here's my message to Obama & Co: All's fair in love and war. And politics ain't love.
When you question John McCain's stability and his health; when you mock his success; when you demean his accomplishments and belittle his Democrat friends; when you go after his wife and his home and you question his intelligence and lampoon his age, you better be ready to answer a few questions yourself.
Because you've already been in the mud yourself.
So, get used to it.
This fight is on.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Con Brio!

For the second time in as many weeks we dined at Brio Tuscan Grille at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill this weekend. In Italian brio (freely translated) means gusto or liveliness. To "do it with brio" (con brio) means to do it with spirit.
On a Saturday night Brio was lively and crowded. But our reservation was honored promptly and we were seated at a cozy booth along the far wall. This is a classy restaurant but the prices remain competitive and the service is excellent.
The atmosphere is old-world but updated. You won't find many red sauce dishes on Brio's eclectic menu.
And the most important part - the food - was simply wonderful in every respect: wedge and chopped salads, rich lasagna, shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta, and roasted salmon - all superb. Portions were significant without being overwhelming. And every part of the service was nicely timed and paced.

'Attention Whore'

Bruce Springsteen is a self-proclaimed "attention whore."
Yesterday he performed at a Big Political Rally in Philadelphia and I don't think I have to tell you which candidate he's backing.
The multi-zillionaire Springsteen specializes in a very thin, one-note repertoire of music focusing on faux-blue collar woes, class warfare and nostalgia for a time and place that (thank God) never really existed.
Springsteen has made a fortune off of the sorry state of others.
How he ever became "The Boss" of anything is beyond me. He's a beat up old rocker whose glory days are clearly behind him.
Message to the Springsteen devotees: look forward, grow up, get out of high school, face life and accept responsibility.

Love, Laughter and Light!

Over the weekend we attended a gala fund raiser for the Lauren Rose Albert Foundation held at the beautiful Tavistock Country Club in the tiny community of Tavistock adjacent to historic Haddonfield.
Tavistock's spectacular view and leafy setting makes it one of the most appealing spots in the region and the Lauran Rose Albert Foundation dedicates itself to helping less fortunate young women who need a hand in completing their educations. The Foundation also reaches out to single mothers through its generous and caring Mothers Matter campaign.
Our dear fiends Susan and Stuart Rose have been the guiding forces behind the Lauren Rose Albert Foundation which was established in memory of their daughter.
Lauren grew up in Woodmere, N.Y. and Cherry Hill, N.J. with her parents and her younger sisters Jackie, Amy and Elizabeth. She was the wife of Dr. Todd Albert and the mother of Stuart, Elliot and Emily.
On February 18, 1999 Lauren was a passenger in a vehicle that tumbled down a hillside in Morocco, killing her. She was only 40.
For her parents, sisters, friends and colleagues – and for her own family – Lauren was an inspiration. She had integrity, self-discipline and strength of character; she always spoke up and stood up for what she believed was right. And she fought for her beliefs with determination and dignity.
These are the qualities that inspire the Lauren Rose Albert Foundation.
Established in 2000, this private, not-for-profit organization offers women’s community service and educational programs that reflect the credo that Mothers Matter – a tribute to a mother’s love – helping needy women and their children; a cause close to Lauren’s heart.
It was such a joy to share an evening with Susan, Stuart, other family members and all those who remember Lauren with their love, generosity and caring.
Bravo to the lauren Rose Albert Foundation!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lights For The Cure

Carole Cirucci tells us that Wednesday's gala "Lights for the Cure" event at Loews Philadelphia Hotel was wonderful with the weather clearing just in time for participants to view the city's skyline lit in pink for breast cancer awareness month.
Lights for the Cure is the local campaign begun in 2002 by CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and the Philadelphia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise awareness about breast cancer. It reaches a milestone this month as more than 100 buildings and landmarks in three states participate in the campaign. Businesses and landmarks in the Philadelphia area, New Jersey and Delaware are turning the skyline pink for the seventh year in a row in an effort to encourage women to schedule a mammogram.
“CBS 3 made a commitment to Susan G. Komen for the Cure 18 years ago that we would be in this fight with them to the end,” says President and General Manager Michael Colleran, “and while we’ve seen a huge amount of progress since then, our work is not done yet.”
“While there has been much good news in the fight against breast cancer in the last two decades, the fact remains that more than 2,000 women in Pennsylvania will die of this disease this year alone,” says Elaine I. Grobman, executive director of the Philadelphia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “Lights for the Cure” is a billboard reminder that is literally as big as the sky to get your mammograms.”
CBS 3, led by its breast cancer team, “The Women of Eyewitness News,” will be on-air and in the community with the message to stay vigilant in the fight against breast cancer throughout the month as part of the station’s ongoing breast cancer awareness campaign.
Our congratulations to the indefatigable Joanne Calabria of CBS3 who spearheaded this campaign and continues to be a driving force in the fight against breast cancer and so many other community outreach programs. Joanne is a Philadelphia native and a member of the Philadelphia Public Relations Hall of Fame. Her energy, talent and friendship are nothing less than inspiring.
CBS 3 and Susan G. Komen for the Cure acknowledge the support of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and, their media partners. Lights for the Cure is proudly sponsored by Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Burlington Coat Factory. The Loews Philadelphia Hotel and Fairmount Park have also provided support for this campaign.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Up, Down Or Sideways?

It's an endless dilemma.
Side by side or up and down?
I used to be side by side. It was nice at first. And it seemed convenient. Plus, it was trendy.
But it didn't work out.
Over time, I found it to be too confining -- not flexible or adaptable enough. I wasn't able to spread out, to be expansive, to use my imagination. Yes, there's was always a downside to side by side.
So, now I'm up and down. And I find it doesn't test my agility nearly as much as I feared.
I'm still able to get what I want and enjoy what I like. In fact, all of my special treats are right there where I want them. And so what if I have to bend and twist a bit more. I find it's worth it, especially since the lower extremities glide with a newfound ease.
Sometimes you just have to break old patterns and try new positions.
And for me (for us, really) it has worked.
What was once ordinary, confining and dreary is now full, open and adventurous.
It's a real eye-opener: brighter, fuller, happier.
Yes, I love my new up and down refrigerator with the convenient freezer/drawer on the lower level and eye-level access to refrigerated items above.
And I don't know how I ever lived all those years with that stupid old side by side.
Who knew?