Saturday, January 31, 2009

Moving Forward!

"We’re going to say to friend and foe alike.We want you to be a part of us, we
want you to work with us.
And for those of you who are ready to obstruct,
get ready to get knocked over."
Michael Stelle, Chair, Republican National Committee

Your '12 Choice: Palin!

The voting in our poll is over and the votes are in.
Your choice for the 2012 GOP nomination is Sarah Palin. Palin is the person who you feel would be the best Republican candidate for President in '12. Bobby Jindal was your second choice.
So, what about a Palin/Jindal ticket for 2012?
Here are the numbers:
Sarah Palin: 27%
Bobby Jindal 20%
Mitt Romney 12%
Mike Huckabee 12%
Jeb Bush 2%
Newt Gingrich 2%
None of the above 20%
Of course, let's not overlook one out of every five voters who picked "none of the above." These people seem to want a fresh, new face for the party. Or, are they still yearning for Rudy?
And who is my personal choice for 2012?
Well, I thought you knew. I'm for Laura Bush!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Del Ff-f-f-rrrisco's Dining

It was f-f-f-frrrigid again last night but we nonetheless decided to keep our reservations at the new Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House in Philadelphia.
Del Frisco's is located in the old First Pennsylvania Bank space at 15th and Chestnut Sts. in what used to be called the Packard Building but is now The Grande condominiums.
The first thing you notice about Del Frsico's is the grandeur. The place is huge with towering columns, an ornate ceiling, grand staircases, rococo railings and banisters and lots of vivid red velvet.
And the prices match the grandeur. Expect to pay more than $40 for a steak. That's just for the meat. The vegetables, etc. are extra. In fact, everything is pretty much al-a-carte.
Which is why we chose to check out Del Frisco's during restaurant week when a pre-fixe three course menu was offered. The place was jammed: crowded, noisy, hectic. But our reservation was honored promptly and we were given a nice seat directly in front of Del Frisco's enormous bar which runs the length of this long, rectangular space.
Del Frisco's pushes "steak, wine and romance" but the bar scene is a huge attraction.
Since the bar jettisons out into the dining area there is ample spillage of the bar crowd into the dining space. If you're a bar person, you'll probably like that. If you're not, you won't.
The signature "VIP martini" is vodka infused with pineapple and its tasty enough but it lacks kick. It is not as good as the Stoli Doli which is served up at The Capital Grille.
The soups and salads were excellent. And the bread pudding dessert (even though I'm not a fan of bread pudding) was wonderful.
But be forewarned: meats and vegetables are heavily seasoned. We received filets that seemed to be infused with peppercorn. Ditto the chateau potatoes (whipped). Unless your palate is accustomed to highly seasoned food, you will need to drink plenty of water as your tongue will burn.
The coffee was only lukewarm and the service was disjointed. Then, we had to wait quite awhile to get our coats.
OK, so it was a very busy night. And we were taking advantage of a "special."
And right now Del Frisco's is the hot new place in town. Maybe things will settle down. But this is still Big Deal dining and drinking for expense accounts and (maybe) special occasions.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

GOP '12: One Day Left!

You have one day left to vote in our GOP 2012 Presidential Poll.
Who do you like for 2012?
Sarah Palin comes to mind.
What about Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee?
Or would you like to see someone who didn't run in 2008 - maybe Bobby or Newt or Jeb?
Or maybe you don't favor any of these candidates.
The choice is yours.
But tomorrow is the last day to vote!
Vote now in our poll. The poll is at the top right corner of this page.
Vote today!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Faith In Democracy

I drove by a synagogue today that displayed a huge sign out front.
With the Star of David in the background and big block letters up front, it said: "We stand for Israel's peace and security."
A bit further up the road another sign proclaimed the same message.
I thought to myself - what a wonderful idea! The survival of the State of Israel is vital to the cause of democracy and freedom. Everybody should be reminded of that fact.
Indeed, faith communities should not hesitate to strongly reaffirm and freely announce their beliefs and interests, especially in these troubled and threatening times.
So let's see more expressions such as this.
And let's hope that the Catholic community will begin asserting its interests as well, particularly with regard to the sanctity of human life.
If messages such as these set one person to thinking about these issues in a new way (or thinking about them at all) then it's worth it.
And let those who so loudly preach tolerance and understanding show some tolerance of and understanding toward these points of view. That would be an important first step!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Geithner OK A Disgrace

Monday night's confirmation of Timothy Geithner as Treasure secretary is a disgrace and an affront to every good, hard-working, tax-paying American who plays by the rules.
Timothy Geithner didn't play by the rules.
Geithner is a tax cheat, pure and simple.
I don't care how "brilliant" Geithner is. Nothing excuses his behavior. Nothing.
While most of us were busting our butts working to make enough money to pay our taxes this guy was moving up, hanging out with the rich and powerful, gaining more power for himself and playing by an entirely different set of rules - his own rules.
Bravo to Senator Susan Collins of Maine who said: "I cannot, in good conscience, vote for Mr. Geithner."
Kudos to Senators Specter, McCain, DeMint, Chambliss, Thune and the 24 other Republicans who voted "NO!" Extra, extra hosannas to Democratic Senators Feingold and Harkin and Independent Senator Sanders who also voted "NO!"
Here are the names and phone numbers of the GOP Senators who voted "Yes" on Geithner. Call them and tell them they sold honest, hard-working taxpayers down the river. Shame on them:
Corker (202) 224-3344
Cornyn (202) 224-2934
Crapo (202) 224-6142
Graham (202) 224-5972
Hatch (202) 224-5251
Gregg (202) 224-3324
Shelby (202) 224-5744
Snowe (202) 224-5344
Voinovich (202) 224-3353

Sunday, January 25, 2009


From THIS............... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .to this!
Hat tip:

2012: Who Do You Like?

Who do you like for 2012?
Sarah Palin comes to mind.
What about Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee?
Or would you like to see someone who didn't run in 2008 - maybe Bobby or Newt or Jeb?
Or maybe you don't favor any of these candidates.
The choice is yours.
Vote now in our poll.
The poll is at the top right corner of this page. Vote today!

Mesmerizingly Cool

Kim Novak.
The very name of this legendary Hollywood star conjures up visions of ethereal beauty.
The story goes that Columbia studio chief Harry Cohn was searching for another starlet to replace the difficult Rita Hayworth when he signed Novak (that is her real name) to a six month contract. The studio wanted to make Novak its version of Marilyn Monroe.
But there was only one MM.
And that was just as well because Novak defined a new type - the cool, sensual, detached, mid-century blonde.
Novak debuted as Lona McLane in Pushover (1954) opposite Fred MacMurray and Philip Cary. Though her role was not the best, her beauty caught the attention of fans and critics alike. She then played the femme fatale role as Janis in Phffft! (1954) opposite Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, and Jack Carson. Novak's reviews were good. People were eager to see the new star, and she received an enormous amount of fan mail.
After playing Madge Owens in Picnic (1955) opposite William Holden, Novak won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer and for World Film Favorite. She was also nominated for the British BAFTA Film Award for Best Foreign Actress. She played Molly in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) opposite Frank Sinatra on loan-out to United Artists. The movie was a big hit. She was paired with Sinatra again for Pal Joey (1957), which also starred Rita Hayworth. She also starred in Jeanne Eagels (1957) with Jeff Chandler. Her popularity became such that she made the cover of the July 29, 1957 issue of Time Magazine.
In 1958, Novak starred in Hitchcock's classic thriller Vertigo opposite James Stewart. Hitchcock had intended his latest blonde protegee Vera Miles to star in the film but Miles' pregnancy and, later several production delays, prevented Hitchcock from realizing his intention. Instead, Novak played the dual roles of the elegant, troubled blonde Madeleine Elster and the earthy shopgirl, brunette Judy Barton. Today, the film is considered a masterpiece of romantic suspense, and Novak's turn is possibly the most admired of her career.
The other night I watched Novak, Stewart, Lemmon and Elsa Lanchester in Bell, Book and candle, a delightful tale of witchery set in 1950s Manhattan. On Turner Classic Movies, Novak and Stewart remain great together along with Ernie Kovacs in a juicy supporting role.
In 1995, Novak was ranked among the 100 sexiest stars in film history.
In a New York Times tribute Stanley Fish has said: Novak was "something that has gone out of fashion and even become suspect in an era of feminist strictures: she was the object of a voyeuristic male gaze."
As TCM host Robert Osborne observed, one look at Novak and he’s lost.
And so are we all -- mesmerized by this legendary beauty and accomplished actress and star.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Don't Bully Non-Obamians

At the risk of sounding like I've been sucking on sour grapes for the past few days, let me say something that, for me at least, needs to be said:
We non-Obama voters shouldn't be bullied into supporting our new president.
Now that I've gotten your attention, allow me to explain. . . .

To read the rest of Christine Flowers' column from the Philadelphia Daily News click here.

Listen Tonight On 1210

We'll be on the radio tonight (Saturday) during the 8 PM - 8:30 segment with Christine Flowers on the Big Talker, 120 AM radio in Philadelphia.
We'll be talking about President Obama's Inaugural Address and how it compares with other inagural speeches in history.
We invite you to call into the Big Talker and chat with us.
Here are the call-in numbers: Philadelphia: (215) 839-1210; Suburbs: (610) 664-1210; New Jersey: (856) 541-1210; Cellular: #1210.

New In Town?

We just saw an advance preview of the flick New In Town (starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick, Jr.) and we can report to you that Hollywood still hates big business.
Hollywood's disdain for corporate America goes back a long ways.
And as you watch the opening scenes of this flick about a food processing plant in New Ulm, Minnesota you can almost predict what's going to happen to the town and the workers at the plant after the plant has been acquired by a large corporate entity headquartered in Miami.
Renee is the gal who is new in town.
Harry is the guy who came to town from North Carolina and made it his own. He's now the local union rep. Harry's a veritable "townie" but he's still able to empathize somewhat with Renee who is sent to New Ulm to run the plant.
Well, I guess you can figure out where the romance comes in. Hey, in Hollywood "conflict of interest" never gets in the way of the script.
And those corporate execs are real meanies except when a quick turnaround is needed.
Grumpy Old Men was a better movie about the northlands.
The Coen brothers' Fargo was much better.
But it is fun to see Renee and Harry, two of our personal favorites.
Come to think of it, if Renee had married smooth crooner Harry instead of self-absorbed Kenny she would have been better off in the long run.
New In Town opens January 30.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reagan's 'Celebrity'

Since I have talked about "the dangers of electing a celebrity President" the question has arisen: "Wasn't Reagan a celebrity?"
As I am writing this I am looking at a shelf full of books about Reagan (at least a dozen of them) all of which I have read.
Ronald Reagan certainly defied the old adage that "there are no second acts in American lives."
Ronald Reagan's life had at least three distinct acts. In fact, it's almost as if he had three different lives:
1) Ronald Reagan the radio broadcaster honed his talents as a mellow-voiced, reassuring presence who was heard throughout the broad center of the nation. He mastered the art of the soundbite before anybody even knew what it was and since he wrote most of his own radio copy he also became an accomplished writer and skilled editor. If you know anything about radio you know that you must be able to say a whole lot with very few words to adhere to the medium's time constraints. Ronald Reagan knew it and did it.
2) Ronald Reagan the Hollywood star was never the biggest star in Tinseltown but he and his films were a staple at Warner Brothers and he learned his lessons well from the studio. He was a dutiful contract player who became a favorite of the gossip columnists -- particular the legendary Hedda Hopper. And yes, Reagan did become a celebrity of sorts but he was certainly never a superstar. In fact, as a Hollywood star he was never really the object of adulation. He was far and away eclipsed by the likes of Clark Gable (earlier) and Rock Hudson (later). Reagan was rarely a leading man. He starred mostly in "B" movies and he played the best friend or jilted lover or simply the "other guy." It's safe to say that not many movie fans swooned or fainted over Ronald Reagan.
3) Ronald Reagan the politician did have his roots in Reagan the Hollywood union leader but the real career switch came when Reagan decided to run for Governor of California. By that time Reagan's image as a "star" had clearly faded and, indeed, he was joked about as "a forgotten, old 'B' movie actor." When he began his political career Ronald Reagan was no celebrity. To the contrary, he was the butt of jokes.
To his credit, Reagan seemed to make clean, clear breaks between the three important acts of his life but he always took everything he learned with him.
Was Reagan, the leader charismatic? Damned right he was.
But there was more than image to Reagan. Though he enjoyed being underestimated, the man was never an empty suit.
Ronald Reagan was the real deal.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Slumdog' Cleans Up

Yes, back on November 30 we also reviewed Slumdog Millionaire which has already won the Golden Globe award and which today became the runner-up for Oscar nominations just behind Benjamin Button.
Frankly, we fould 'Slumdog' assualtive and relentless but we did admit that we were in the minority and that the movie had become an 'international sensation.'
Here's what we said:
'Slumdog' is indeed a powerful tale that centers on one of the three orphans who grows up to become a champion on the India TV version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?The film is told in a serious of flashbacks and it is graphic beyond belief.
We journey through the slums of India as our protagonist is beaten, scarred, intimidated, abused, starved, orphaned and at one point even enveloped in human waste.
Danny Boyle's direction of this extraordinarily vivid tale is relentlessly assaultive. It's loud, often manipulative and ultimately overwhelming. The moments of subtlety are few and far between. . . .
The major performances by a young cast of Indian actors are wonderful. And the film certainly does grab and keep your attention.
Will 'Slumdog' best 'Button' for the Best Picture prize?
I suppose that depends on whether Hollywood wants to go global and send a love letter to the world ('Slumdog') or hunker down to its American roots ('Button').

As We Said: Button Scores!

Way back on November 25 we gave you an advance review of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and we predicted that it would garner many Oscar nominations including Best Picture.
Here's what we said:
Benjamin Button is a Major Motion Picture with lots of Oscar buzz. In fact, this film could garner as many as 11 Oscar nominations, if not more.
Well, today 'Button' scooped up 13 nominations and led in the nomnations race.
This truly is the biggest, most significant American movie since Forrest Gump.
Here's the story from David Germain in Hollywood for the Associated Press:
The romantic fantasy "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" led Academy Awards contenders Thursday with 13 nominations, among them best picture and acting honors for Brad Pitt and Taraji P. Henson, and a directing slot for David Fincher.
Other best-picture nominees are "Frost/Nixon," "Milk," "The Reader" and "Slumdog Millionaire."
As expected, Heath Ledger had a supporting-actor nomination for "The Dark Knight" on the one-year anniversary of his death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. But the Batman blockbuster was shut out from other top categories such as best picture and director.
"Slumdog Millionaire" lived up to its rags-to-riches theme, coming in second with 10 nominations, including a directing spot for Danny Boyle and two of the three song slots.
Pitt and real-life partner Angelina Jolie both will be going to the Oscars as nominees. Jolie had a best-actress nomination for the missing-child drama "Changeling," while Pitt is up for his role as a man born old who ages backward toward childhood, an epic tale based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald story.
"This is a great honor for the movie, and I'm especially happy for David Fincher, for without him there would be no Ben Button," Pitt said in a statement.
Jolie also had gushing words for her director, "Changeling" filmmaker Clint Eastwood.

For the complete list of Oscar nominees click here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2012: Who Do You Like?

Who do you like for 2012?
Sarah Palin comes to mind.
What about Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee?
Or would you like to see someone who didn't run in 2008 - maybe Bobby or Newt or Jeb?
Or maybe you don't favor any of these candidates.
The choice is yours. Vote now in our poll.
The poll is at the top right corner of this page. Vote today!

Obama Takes Oath, Again!

The Associated Press is just now reporting that Obama has taken the oath of office today in the White House, again!
Apparently there was some confusion as to whether the flubbed oath yesterday was legitimate.
And it seems that just to be sure Obama has taken the oath again from Chief Justice Roberts in the White House, It seems this was witnessed by Obama aide Greg Craig.
You remember Craig: He was the man who defended Clinton during the impeachment. He was also the guy who fought for the return of Elian Gonzalez to Cuba, thus depriving the little boy of a life of freedom.
One day in and already the Obama Administration is off to a curious (and somewhat shaky) start along with some questionable witnesses.

Poll: Evenly Split!

The results are in on our poll and the numbers are evenly split.
We asked: "What will Barack Obama's popularity be on January 20, 2010?"
About 48% of you feel that the new President's popularity one year from now will be 50% or above.
But the rest of you (about 52%) feel his popularity will be 50% or less.
The percentages are not exact because they are not fractionalized.
Here's the breakdown:
18% of you say his popularity will be 70% or more.
15% peg it at 60 to 70%.
14% say it will be 50 to 60%
15% peg it at 40 to 50%
Note that all of those figures in each of those categories are relatively close.
But then nearly a quarter of you (23%) say his popularity will be only 30 to 40%. That is the largest single category of responses.
And then another 12% see him at less than 30% a year from now.
So, more than a third -- 35% of the respondents -- see President Obama's popularity at 40% or less a year from now,
Thanks for participating. We'll have a new poll tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kind Words For Barack

Some people seem to feel I haven't always been fair (or even nice) to Barack Obama.
And maybe I haven't.
But from time to time I have given him credit.
In fact, just about a year ago (January 26, 2007) on this blog I called Obama a "helluva fighter" and all but predicted he would win the nomination and implied he might win the the election as well. Here's what I said:
Barack Obama's victory in the South Carolina Democrat primary can only be described as devastating. It was a crushing triumph: two-to-one; a huge mandate.
In his victory speech Obama never mentioned the Clintons by name but his shots at the Clintons were clear as he declared the election a contest between "the past and the future" and said the real test was not about "how much time you've spent in Washington or your proximity to the White House" but whether you could bring people together and provide real hope for the future. And then Obama added that we must turn away from the politics that tells us that "you can't even admit that a Republican had an idea, even if it was an idea you never believed in."
Even though Obama used a teleprompter to make his remarks, it must be noted that we haven't heard oratory like this in a long time. Quite impressive.
Tomorrow's endorsement of Obama by Caroline Kennedy in a New York Times op-ed (where she says he will be "a President like my father") will add another boost to his campaign.
Be sure of it: This is a helluva fight and - this is one helluva fighter.

So, there you are.
Don't think I don't recognize and respect this man's talents and abilities. I do.

Inaugural Remarks: First Assessment

Inaugural addresses are not by their nature specific.
They are thematic.
They paint with broad strokes, setting a tone for what is to come.
President Obama's address today was no different. It contained the type of broad rhetoric that the new President is comfortable with: aspirational rather than operational.
Though he said that the real questions is not whether government is too big or too small but rather whether or not government works, Obama gave us no clues as to how he will decide which government programs work and which don't.
Yes, he hinted that he would get rid of certain government programs. But, which ones?
We just don't know.
And yes, Obama's remarks contained an implied answer to Reagan's declaration in 1981 that government is not the solution but government is, rather, the problem. Obama apparently assumes that government is the solution, no matter how big it gets. He just wants to make sure it works right.
Strong words of national defense in the speech were balanced by neo-liberal rhetoric about peace and understanding.
Still, while Obama seemed to reject "missiles and weapons" he lavished praise on our fighting men and women in the armed forces and pointed to their service as an example to all. Even though he stuck to his rhetoric on an eventual withdrawal from Iraq it was nice to hear him acknowledge the sacrifice of the military and to hear him evoke the memories of Washington and his army of the Revolution.
I think it was fine for President Obama to point to our diversity and to recognize as a source of strength and recognize the many faiths that practice in America. But I don't know why he felt the need to point out that that we are a nation of "non-believers" as well. Somehow that didn't sit right with me. It didn't settle well on my ears.
How can you criticize "cynics," challenging them and nearly mocking them while at the same time putting "non-believers" on the same plain as people of faith? We all know that so many of those "non-believers" are simply nihilists and/or cynics. Why grant them official recognition? Unfortunately, I must assume that this represented some morally fuzzy liberal thinking that crept into the speech.
This was certainly an historic occasion.
But was this an historic speech?
Will it be put alongside the four or five "great" Inaugural addresses: Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy?
At first blush I would have to guess "no."
It was a blessedly brief speech. And it was refreshingly non-egotistical, mentioning the word "I" only a few times. And it wisely Incorporated messages borrowed from our history and from scripture while striking classic themes.
But nothing really jumps out at me -- nothing that says: "Look at this. Study this. Think about this. Remember this. This is something to savor; something that sounds like it would stand the test of time."
Still, I'll read it again and consider it further.

Obama Inaugural: Key Passages

Here are some of the key passages from today's Inaugural address:

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real.

They are serious and they are many.

They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. . . .

But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. . . .

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. . . .

And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more. . . .

We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

Is Michelle Overdressed?

Dare I say that Michelle Obama is overdressed for the Inaugural ceremony?
Dare I say it?
I dunno.
Some people say Michelle seems dressed for the Inaugural Ball, not for the morning and afternoon festivities.
She is beaded and bejeweled.
Michelle seems dressed for the Balls tonight.
And Jill Biden (with boots) seems dressed for a football game.
BTW: President George H. W. Bush looks downright goofy with that hat he's wearing. Couldn't he find a better, more appropriate chapeau?
Laura Bush looks wonderful, as always, in a muted, sensible wool suit guaranteed not to upstage.
And Barbara Bush is her usual inimitable self.
Hillary Clinton also looks great and most appropriate.
Coming onto the Inaugural platform Obama is still wearing his leather gloves and is shaking hands with all the Very Important People there without removing his gloves. Someone should have told him to remove the gloves. Only Queen Elizabeth shakes hands that way.
More: Aretha Franklin (with that great bow on her hat) looks wonderful as you might expect.

Wide Horizons . . .

I can say I've worked hard, put in my time:
Now it's time to go home.
And catch up on my chores:
Watch the sunset from my porch.
I'll be somewhere down in Texas if you're lookin' for me,
Drinkin' in that great wide-open: soakin' up the summer breeze.
Kickin' back an' settled in with my family.
I'll be somewhere down in Texas if you're lookin' for me.
That's where I got started, where I was born an' bred:
It's the fire inside of me.
I couldn't have imagined this Texas highway led,
Far beyond my wildest dreams.
But I'll turn out the lights tonight,
An' say goodnight, but not goodbye.
I'll be somewhere down in Texas if you're lookin' for me,
Drinkin' in that great wide-open: soakin' up the summer breeze.
Kickin' back an' settled in with my family.
I'll be somewhere down in Texas if you're lookin' for me.
I made so many friends,Hope we meet someday again:
Till then:I'll be somewhere down in Texas if you're lookin' for me,
Drinkin' in that great wide-open: soakin' up the summer breeze.
Kickin' back an' settled in with my family.
I'll be somewhere down in Texas if you're lookin' for me.
"Somewhere Down In Texas" written and recorded by George Strait.

Obama's Inaugural Address

Don't look for any big surprises today in Obama's Inaugural Address.
The new President will strike a balanced tone and will speak for about 20 minutes or less. This is a relatively short address for him and it takes into account the frigid weather and the huge crowd.
Obama will offer trademark messages of hope, change and generational shift but he will also warn of the size and seriousness of our problems. He will echo Kennedy in asking not what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country. He will ask for sacrifice, patience and understanding.
Of course he will also call for unity.
Let us hope that he expresses the warmest thanks and appreciation to President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush for their extraordinary service to our nation, especially in the days following September 11. And let us hope that Obama thanks President Bush for the absolutely flawless transition, grace and dignity that led to this hopeful new day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Losing The Big One

Here's the bottom line: You can't keep losing the Big Games and expect people to take you seriously.
When you lose four times in five conference title games, something's wrong. And don't forget that for three of those games the Eagles were favorites.
This was a pitiful loss.
It was unforgivable -- unforgivable to do this to the fans who have come back again and again and again and again and, yes . . . AGAIN only to be disappointed.
It simply cannot go on like this.
It cannot stand.
Let's put it this way: If I supported a candidate or a political party and we suffered losses over and over and over and over in the Big Contest, I'd demand that the party change leadership; undergo a complete and total overhaul. Otherwise, I'd walk away.
Hey, I'm capable of tremendous loyalty and I ain't afraid of losing.
But losing ain't fun - especially when you're teased and your team or party or candidate loses the big game or the big race. This is dysfunctional. It's unhealthy. It's near pathological.
So, McNabb must go. Reid must go.
In fact, if they were at all decent about it they'd simply submit their resignations. They failed.
You can analyze it all you want. And, you can make all the excuses you want.
And it's true that Reid & McNabb & Co. gave us some great thrills.
Still, no matter how many games they won or how many times they came back, there's only one way to describe them now: LOSERS!

Must Read Of The Day!

Thanks to all of you who helped make our column in today's Courier-Post a Must Read of The Day on
This is the first time this has ever happened to us and it is immensely gratifying.
Lucianne runs literally hundreds (maybe even thousands) of pieces every day so this is a special honor - to be chosen as one of the three or four "must reads" on her outstanding web site.
We thank the Courier-Post for running the column and we thank Lucianne for drawing national attention to our views.
If you still haven't read the column click here to read it on or click here to read it at the Courier-Post.
BTW: The column generated nearly 30 comments on Lucianne and eight comments at the Courier.
Thanks again for your continued support!

Language Of Obamaland

We stand at the threshold of the Age of Obama. It will be unlike anything we have ever known. And it will be all-consuming. Our lives, our nation and our world will be transformed. Nothing will be the same.
Even our vocabulary will change. Consequently, we will need to know the vocabulary of this new realm: the players, the terms, the language of Obamaland. . . .

To read the rest of my column from today's Courier-Post click here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wyeth: One Of The Greats

Andrew Wyeth, one of America's great artists died quietly Friday at his home in beautiful Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. He was 91 and he died in his sleep.
Wyeth lived a long, vastly accomplished life. He was a man of great insight, extraordinary creativity and gentle humor. By all accounts, he was a fine man processed of an incredible work ethic, a love of family and a deep commitment to his craft.
Above all, he was an American artist and his art reflected an American view of the world -- a view anchored in the vastness of the land, the realities of rural life and the simple values of humility, hard work and perseverance.
As the New York Times has reported: "In later years, [Wyeth]became a familiar sight around Chadds Ford, driving his beat-up GMC Suburban through the fields and riverbeds with a sketch pad on the seat. Menus at the inn in Chadds Ford, where he had his regular seat at a corner table, were decorated with his sketches of Washington and Lafayette.
He lost a lung, survived a near-fatal illness, and had a hip operation, but kept working, energized partly by disdain for his detractors. “I’m not going to let them disrupt my old age,” he said.
Like many great artists Wyeth didn't obsess on the reception that his work received. But he recognized that in the modern art world, promotion was necessary. After all, he was a realist.
Again, from the Times: “I am an example of publicity — a great deal of it,” he also said. “I’m grateful because it gives me the freedom to go and try to do better. But I never had any great idea that these people are understanding what I’m doing. And they don’t.”
Wyeth added: “Let’s be sensible about this. I put a lot of things into my work which are very personal to me. So how can the public feel these things? I think most people get to my work through the back door. They’re attracted by the realism and they sense the emotion and the abstraction — and eventually, I hope, they get their own powerful emotion.”
Wyeth was inspired by his artist father, N. C. Wyeth and Wyeth in turn inspired his son, artist Jamie Wyeth. Wyeth was also inspired by one of my favorite artists, Winslow Homer. Indeed, the Wyeths are a family of artists.
In 2007 President Bush presented Andrew Wyeth with the National Medal of the Arts. Wyeth had already received the Presidential Medal of Freedom several decades ago. In 1977, he became the first American artist since John Singer Sargent elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. In 1980, Wyeth became the first living American artist to be elected to Britain's Royal Academy. On November 9, 1988, Wyeth received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States legislature.
Andrew Wyeth was an American treasure and one of this nation's astonishing gifts to the world.
See many of Andrew Wyeth's works as well as other works by members of the Wyeth family at the beautiful Brandywine River Musem in Chadds Ford.
Add your comments to the Andrew Wyeth blog.
Museum of Modern Art “Christina’s World,” 1948, by Andrew Wyeth

The Legacy

In a few short days, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Some people, a sizable part of the electorate, can't wait. In fact, they've pretty much considered him the commander in chief since he first announced his candidacy on a cold day two years ago in Springfield, Ill.
But during those two years, momentous in many ways, there was already an occupant of the Oval Office, one who's been reviled and underestimated more than any other president in recent memory. With a clear eye and a sense of fairness, let's look at key parts of the Bush legacy. . . .

To read the rest of Christine Flowers' column from the Philadelphia Daily News click here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush Bids Farewell

From the Farewell Address of President George W. Bush:
Tonight I am filled with gratitude – to Vice President Cheney and members of the Administration; to Laura, who brought joy to this house and love to my life; to our wonderful daughters, Barbara and Jenna; to my parents, whose examples have provided strength for a lifetime. And above all, I thank the American people for the trust you have given me. I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. And I thank you for the countless acts of courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed these past eight years. This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house – September 11, 2001. That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives in the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor. I remember standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center three days later, surrounded by rescuers who had been working around the clock. I remember talking to brave souls who charged through smoke-filled corridors at the Pentagon and to husbands and wives whose loved ones became heroes aboard Flight 93. I remember Arlene Howard, who gave me her fallen son’s police shield as a reminder of all that was lost. And I still carry his badge.
As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before Nine-Eleven. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe. Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security has been created. The military, the intelligence community, and the FBI have been transformed. Our Nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists’ movements, freeze their finances, and break up their plots. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them. Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school. Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States.
There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil. . . .
I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This Nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense and to advance the cause of peace.

Save Flyers, Kill Geese

It's being reported that Canada geese were probably the culprits in today's Manhattan US Airways plane crash that nearly cost more than 100 people their lives.
The birds apparently flew into the plane's jet blades less than a minute after takeoff.
Thank goodness a very experienced US Airways pilot and crew acted quickly and expertly to land the plane on the Hudson River and save lives.
Birds reportedly have been a threat to air flight since the time of the Wright brothers.
But the situation has worsened in recent years.
Who among us has not been plagued by these dirty, disgusting, rapidly-multiplying Canada geese? Their numbers grow at an alarming rate and their sheer brazenness is alarming. They take over more and more acreage including public parks they leave their waste everywhere, creating health risks.
Now, these filthy, emboldened birds are threatening flight safety.
There is a solution to the growing problem of Canada geese: Kill them!
But you know that the animal rights people and environmental wackos don't want us to do this. They think they know better.
Maybe these zealots would prefer that a few more planes go down or that more land, parks and open space be taken over by these loud, dirty, disgusting creatures. Maybe they don't really care if people are killed by the birds flying into planes.
Now, it's come to this: Which will it be -- us or the birds?

NJ Sales Tax Holiday!

New Jersey Senate Leader Tom Kean and Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce have again called on Governor Corzine to adopt a sales tax holiday to provide economic relief to New Jersey families and businesses. The governor dismissed a similar Republican proposal before last year’s holiday season. The National Retail Federation (NFR) called last month for a nationwide sales tax holiday to be one leg of any new economic stimulus program.
“A sales tax holiday will save the average family $175 this year, according to the National Retail Federation,” Kean stated. “This sales tax holiday program should be part of an economic stimulus we adopt this year. It is especially timely given the fact that the stock market tumbled this morning, driven down mainly by dismal retail sales.”
On December 23, 2008 the NFR sent a letter to President-elect Obama asking that he include 3, 10 day sales tax holidays for a broad range of goods, as part of the economic stimulus plan. The letter was signed by the chairmen and CEOs of retail giants, J.C Penney, Saks Fifth Avenue and PetSmart. The NRF proposal includes both short-term economic stimulus measures and long-term investments. The NRF holds that sales tax holidays have proven to be a powerful inducement for people to shop. The federation proposes that the federal government reimburse states for lost revenue.
“Governor Corzine offered few new ideas to reinvigorate New Jersey’s economy,” DeCroce continued. “This program will put money back into the pockets of middle class families and generate more income tax revenue by saving jobs in the retail sector. The governor should embrace this common-sense proposal, and urge the President-elect to embrace this idea as well.”

Glorious Realm Of Sayde

We braved the bitter cold last night (What ever happened to global warming?) to venture into Philly's hip Northern Liberties neighborhood where the Philadelphia Bar Association convened a spectacular cocktail reception and dinner at the beautiful Cescaphe Ballroom to honor Chancellor Sayde Joy Ladov (pictured with husband, David Ladov).
We would report on everyone who was at the gala affair but everyone was at the event which makes it near impossible for us to mention everyone here. Sayde has so many friends (and no one ever says "no" to Sayde) that just about everyone was invited and all who were invited showed up. Well, they must have known they would be treated to a spectacular array of food and drink and a program poking gentle fun at the honoree -- a program that proved to be irresistible.
Kudos today go to former Chancellor and Pepper Hamilton partner Frank Devine who appeared as part of the program as Sayde's long-lost Irish Catholic sister, Mary Francis (or was it Mary Katherine?). Using makeup, costume, and props that included two cantaloupes (Don't ask. . . ) Frank delivered a powerpoint presentation that you'll never see in any board room.
By the end of the affair Queen Sayde ruled over the evening and her kingdom as she donned her crown and waved her scepter declaring that the joyous reign of Sayde would last until roughly this time next year.
One thing's for sure: Every day in every way the reign of Ladov will be an effervescent adventure unlike any other.
BTW: For the best, most complete story on Sayde read Paul Kazaras' beautifully detailed tribute in The Philadelphia Lawyer magazine.

Dinner With Obama

So, Obama had dinner night before last with inside-the-beltway "conservative" pundits.
Let's be clear about this: Except for Charles Krauthammer none of the people at the dinner could be described as a "die-hard" conservative. Nor are they necessarily GOP loyalists. None of them.
George Will, the host of the dinner, has often led the criticism of President Bush and does nothing to hide his disdain for both Presidents Bush. Will is reaching Serious Senior status and he's increasingly desperate to stay in touch. He's never been a McCain fan either and he was probably happy that Obama won. I suppose he sees this as a chance to hang on awhile longer lest his dotage gets the best of him.
Peggy Noonan seems to be a gracious lady and a fine wordsmith. But she too has become disenchanted with the Republican Party and she did not hesitate to dump on both Bush and McCain. She has also been critical of Palin. Peggy has come to enjoy the east-coast "glamour" set. She too seems to feel a compelling need to remain "au-courant."
Bill Kristol always struck me as a curious figure -- a sort of picky, all-too-proper "conservative" who would prefer to engage in tedious debate with the country club set. Passion is not his strong suit.
And Larry Kudlow is more of an economic conservative than anything else. You can't really say that his conservatism is in any way whole or all-encompassing.
So, these are not exactly people who I'd want to be in a foxhole with.
As far as I'm concerned they are nothing more than convenient conservatives, if you know what i mean.
Now, on the same day that this dinner was being held Rush Limbaugh was in Washington as well. But Rush wasn't having dinner with anybody. Rush was having lunch with President Bush in the White House. You see, Rush is old fashioned that way. He believes in sticking. Rush is the sort of guy who leaves the party with the same date he arrived with. How quaint!
Now, that's my kind of conservative!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

BBC Calls About Harry

The other day the BBC called me.
Yes, the BBC, or as it is known across the pond, the Beeb.
Beth Ryder from the BBC show World Have Your Say wanted me to elaborate regarding my views on Prince Harry's recent antics and questionable use of language. Harry was clowning around with his buds in the British Army.
I told Beth that Harry exhibits the exuberance of youth. He's a lively chap who wants to get along with his mates and wants to be thought of as a chum. So, he pokes fun at others, makes jokes at his own expense, engages in pranks and acts much like a normal twentysomething guy.
Hey, I spend a good deal of time around twentysomethings.
These young people are still changing, experimenting, growing and evolving. They're unfinished. That often makes them (thank goodness!) a good deal more spontaneous than the rest of us. And their spontaneity is part of their appeal.
And, in Harry's case these young people are serving their nation and are often under a good deal of stress. On top of it all, Harry has suffered an egregious loss during his young life.
So, let's cut him (and his friends) a break.
And let's bit a bit more understanding of the generation that is now just emerging.
Let's give them a wide berth, and a chance to learn.

Kean Hits Corzine On Jobs

A message from New Jersey State Senate Leader Tom Kean:
“There’s no doubt that these are extraordinary times for New Jersey. However, our governor used hyper-partisan rhetoric to try to persuade state residents that our economic problems began last year with the housing crisis and the stock market collapse.
“In truth, they began six years ago when Democrat Governor Jim McGreevey decided the best way to win re-election was to borrow, tax and spend the earnings of the middle class rather than exercising fiscal discipline during an economic downturn. Governor Corzine wholeheartedly endorsed those job-killing policies and is an enthusiastic advocate of many of them today. He’d rather use a pension gimmick that will cost property tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars than to reopen the budget and, at last, set the state on the right course toward lasting growth and prosperity.
“Make no mistake. The state’s small business climate was ranked last in the nation long before the Dow plunged. New Jersey began losing private jobs three years ago, not three months. In 2007, New York’s rate of private sector employment growth was 12 times that of New Jersey, while Connecticut growth was eight times higher, Massachusetts growth was seven times higher, and Pennsylvania’s was six times higher.
“Governor Corzine did nothing to reverse those policies until polls showed that voters were demanding that he take action in the face of a national recession. Then he adopted measures that he ridiculed when Republicans proposed them in the Common Sense Plan they introduced in May and June. However, he has left many job-killing measures in place, including a $62 million utility tax increase that costs every family and business desperately needed resources during this recession.
“Both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature are now committed to finding real, long-term solutions to this state’s economic problems. The governor talks tough, but he hasn’t come through. On the economy, on ethics, on transparency in government, we urge the governor to conform his actions to his rhetoric.

GOP: Open Budget Process

The five Republican members of the New Jersey Senate Budget Committee urged Governor Corzine to embrace the democratic process during his state of the state speech, and officially declare the budget reopened so legislators can perform their constitutional role in determining how state money will be spent.
“No governor should be allowed to squelch debate about the issues that are most crucial to citizens,” Senator Bucco said. “This governor can’t run the state like a Wall Street CEO, answerable only to the special interests and insiders who help him win elections.”
“The public has a right to know where the governor plans to find budget savings or move funds from critical programs,” Senator Haines said. “The budget must be fair. To ensure it is fair, we need open debate in the Legislature.”
“Corzine seems determined to go around the democratic process on every important issue,” Senator O’Toole said. “He pushed through toll hikes without legislative approval. Now he wants the Legislature to rubber stamp at least $2 billion in budget changes. Taxpayers have a right to full debate about where their government is going and how their money will be spent.”
“The administration has refused to honor a simple request to document how it’s moving money around to patch growing holes in the budget,” Senator Pennacchio said. “No administration that acts in this manner can claim with a straight face that it’s practicing open and transparent government. It’s time to stop dictating to the citizenry, and instead wholeheartedly welcome them to join a debate about the future of the state.”
“Other states are using the economic downturn to drive open and vigorous debates about the direction of government,” Senator Oroho said. “Governor Corzine is blocking the discussion. Our state is the poorer for it. The public has a right to know.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bush On The Record

George W. Bush on the economy:
In terms of the economy, look, I inherited a recession, I am ending on a recession. In the meantime there were 52 months of uninterrupted job growth. And I defended tax cuts when I campaigned, I helped implement tax cuts when I was President, and I will defend them after my presidency as the right course of action.
And there's a fundamental philosophical debate about tax cuts. Who best can spend your money, the government or you? And I have always sided with the people on that issue. Now, obviously these are very difficult economic times.
When people analyze the situation, there will be -- this problem started before my presidency, it obviously took place during my presidency. The question facing a President is not when the problem started, but what did you do about it when you recognized the problem.
And I readily concede I chunked aside some of my free market principles when I was told by chief economic advisors that the situation we were facing could be worse than the Great Depression.
So I've told some of my friends who said -- you know, who have taken an ideological position on this issue -- why did you do what you did? I said, well, if you were sitting there and heard that the depression could be greater than the Great Depression, I hope you would act too, which I did.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Corzine Numbers Look Bad

Jon Corzine enters his re-election with worse numbers than Jim Florio and more New Jerseyans believing the state is on the wrong track than at the same time in 1993.
Voters seem to be disappointed with Corzine’s string of broken promises and may be figuring out that his tax hikes and big spending have made a bad situation worse.
But it often takes Joisey voters a long time to connect the dots, if at all.
Will they get it? And will they be angry enough to throw the bum out?
Certainly, Corzine seems to be in trouble among the all-important group of independent voters.
And Christopher Christie is a worthy opponent.
Here are the poll figures:
1993 Jim Florio Job Approval: 36% Excellent/Good; 60% Fair/Poor
2009 Jon Corzine Job Approval: 32% Excellent/Good; 66% Fair/Poor
Among Only Independent Voters - Florio 1993: 34% Excellent/Good; 62% Fair/Poor
Corzine 2009: 19% Excellent/Good; 78% Fair/Poor
Right Track/Wrong Track - 1993: 48% Right Track; 45% Wrong Track
2009: 25% Right Track; 65% Wrong Track
Among Ind Voters - 1993: 43% Right Track; 45% Wrong Track
2009: 9% Right Track; 81% Wrong Track
Source: Eagleton Poll, February 1993 ( and FDU Poll, January 2009 (

Happy, Healthy Harry

Why in hell do some people seem to be so bent out of shape over Prince Harry's normal male antics as a soldier, a prankster an engaging mate?
Turns out Harry seems to be a refreshingly ordinary 24-year-old guy.
That's something to celebrate.
So, Harry talked about a "Paki friend" and used the "F" word and said one of his mates looked like a "raghead." And Harry smokes, too. Imagine!
So what?
Harry doesn't hold public office.
He's not next in line to the throne.
And he's already known his share of adversity during his young life. I say, cut him a break.
He's trying to serve his country and be a regular guy. He wants to have friends like everyone else -- friends he can hang out with and be real with.
He jokes about the Queen and even pokes plenty of fun at himself, admitting that his hair is naturally ginger colored in places other than the top of his head.
Amidst all the studied stiffness of the royals, Harry's youthful antics and spontaneity are endearing.
Frankly, I think his mum would chuckle approvingly - her beautiful eyes alive with love for her boy. Yep, mum would be proud!
And his dad and his grandparents should feel the same way.
Be who you are Harry -- and to hell with the rest of 'em!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thanks 25,000 Times!

It's hard to believe we've really reached this milestone. But here we are! In fact, we're now actually averaging more than 2,000 visitors every month and are adding new visitors every minute of every day.
Thank you so much for making this blog a success.
Keep visiting - and keep telling everyone you know about us.
You inspire us to keep posting, keep writing and keep reaching out to new audiences. You are the reason for our continued success!

Vote In Our Poll!

What will Obama's popularity be one year from now?
Will it be 70% or more?
Will it be 30% or less?
Will it be somewhere in between?
Vote in our new poll on Obama's popularity one year out.
You can find the poll at the top right hand corner of this page.
Vote now!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

'A Hero In Scrubs'

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.
- Winston Churchill
John Pryor would have frowned at all the attention.
Like so many truly good men, he was humble. While so many athletes and movie stars give little and claim much, he gave life with his hands and claimed nothing in return.
This was a person you encounter once or twice in a lifetime if you're lucky. Fortunately, many Philadelphians were.
And because they had the privilege of knowing him, they gathered at the cathedral this week to mourn. But, mostly, they were there to celebrate a luminous soul that burned brightly among them all too briefly. . . .

To read the rest of Christine Flowers' wonderful column from the Philadelphia Daily News click here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Revealing POTUS Photo

As a PR person for many, many years I've learned that body language in posed photos can be quite telling.
Look at the historic picture above of four Presidents and one about-to-be-President.
George W. Bush stands in the middle with his hands at his side. This is what we tell most public figures when they pose for a picture like this: Just stand with your hands at your side and smile. "W" is well-trained. He does what the pros tell him to do. He also remembers his mother's advice: Be friendly, be courteous, don't call unnecessary attention to yourself.
But Jimmy Carter stands apart from the others.
He won't allow his body to even brush up against Clinton's or the others. In his self-righteous mind he's better than the rest. He stands apart.
Bill Clinton has his hands behind his back. Need I say more?
And Obama seems friendly enough but his hands tell the tale. He has struck a classic "fig leaf" pose. Stuck between "W" and "HW" he's protecting the Crown Jewels.
Then there's HW. He's his jovial self: A jolly good fellow who's just along for the ride. But don't think his defenses are completely down. After all, he does seem to have his hands in his pockets. Well, maybe that's why he seems to be in such a good mood!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

NJ: Hope Spelled 'CHRISTIE!'

A message from Christopher J. Christie:
This morning I am filing papers to begin the process to become a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey.
I did not take this step lightly. It was only after careful consideration and consultation with my family that I decided to become a candidate.
New Jersey is broken. New Jersey’s taxes have become so unaffordable that more families are leaving our state than moving here. Our state's business tax climate is ranked 50th in the nation and has become so unattractive to employers that only government jobs are growing in New Jersey. Yet nothing in Trenton gets done to fix these problems.
We can change this. We can solve these problems if we're willing to make the tough decisions.
In my seven years as your United States Attorney, I didn't shy away from any of the tough decisions. I took on corporate greed, political corruption, terrorism and environmental polluters. Public officials from both parties were prosecuted for corruption – more than 130 were convicted, and not one was acquitted. Corporate executives who cheated their companies and hurt their workers were successfully prosecuted. Terrorist plots were disrupted; polluters punished.
Many didn’t believe we could win these battles. We did, and with strong leadership we will win the fight for Governor and change this state for the better.
My formal announcement for Governor will come in the first week in February . . . With strong leadership now, we can fix our broken state and make it more affordable for all New Jersey families. . . .
Our website is still in formation, but please visit,, to sign up for email updates and details about our announcement.
We applaud Chris Christie for taking this step.
And we're happy that he did not wait - that he is already engaged; that he's out front with his message and that he's ready to go.
This move by a courageous public servant gives New Jersey its first glimmer of hope in many years.
Gear up, New Jersey: A bright new dawn awaits if we can match Chris' courage with our own resolve to make it happen!

Recommended Reading

My holiday reading this year has been quite plentiful and I'm happy to recommend some of my favorites:
Audition by Barbara Walters - I've written a bit about this already.
Yes, it's a very clever title. But it's also a very substantial book - big, thorough, detailed. This is a true autobiography and it proves to be exceptionally compelling. Yes, Barbara tell us almost more than we ever wanted to know and she makes it a point to name names. But isn't that better than teasing us and leaving gaps in her story?
Deconstructing Sammy - Investigative reporter Matt Birkbeck tell us how Sammy Davis' fortune was squandered by Sammy and a cast of notorious sycophants and scoundrels. It's a sad tale that is sometimes hard to take. But it's told with such searing honesty that you can't stop reading. And so you witness the deconstructing of Sammy and his entire estate and you experience the ugly underbelly of show business. Like watching a calamity unfold and not being able to do anything to stop it.
The Legs Are The Last To Go - Diahann Carroll (pictured) tells her incredible story - from Harlem to Broadway to Hollywood. One of the most beautiful women in the world tells us what drove her to succeed and how she endured a string of bad marriages, racism, chauvinism and the rigors of a life in show business. In what is more of a memoir than an autobiography, Carroll chooses key points in her life and gives us observations and insights with surprising candor.
The Reagan I Knew by William F. Buckley - This is the book that Buckley was writing at the time of his death. It's a sweet, tender scrapbook of letters, speeches, recollections and anecdotes that gives us a rare peek into the private Ronald Reagan from a man who knew him as a friend and as a fellow soldier in the long fight to gain a conservative majority for our nation. Reagan's decency, sensitive and true grace shine through on nearly every page in this knowing tribute.
Don't Mind If I Do - George Hamilton's memoir surprises us with the story of a southern boy who learned so much from his strong-willed, high-flying momma and his talented dad. It's an unexpected story that reveals a guy who's smarter, craftier and wittier than a lot of people might think. In the end, you may actually take Hamilton more seriously than he seems to take himself. But, don't be fooled. Charm is a deliciously seductive deceiver.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Vote In Our Poll!

What will Obama's popularity be one year from now?
Will it be 70% or more?
Will it be 30% or less?
Will it be somewhere in between?
Vote in our new poll on Obama's popularity one year out.
You can find the poll at the top right hand corner of this page.
Vote now!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

RNC: Franken's A Fraud

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan issued the following statement last night:
"Al Franken's declarations of victory are as inaccurate as they are premature. This recount has taken some time and we won't know a winner for weeks to come. And, when a winner finally does emerge, we are confident it will be Norm Coleman.
During this process, Minnesotans have shown a great amount of patience and respect; Al Franken and Washington Democrats should follow their lead and do the same."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Frost/Nixon: Spellbinding!

Let me put my cards on the table so you'll understand where I'm coming from: I never voted for Richard Nixon.
I never liked him.
I never supported him. Never.
In fact, I actively opposed him. As a young citizen, I opposed him in 1960 during his first run for the White House.
I oppose him when he ran for Governor of California in 1962. Even though I lived 3,000 away from California I still perceived him to be such a threat that I wore "Pat Brown for Governor" button.
I opposed Nixon again in 1968 and was heartbroken when he won even though I wasn't exactly the most ardent Hubert Humphrey fan. And, I opposed Nixon again in 1972 even though I knew that McGovern was not the best candidate the Democrats could field.
So, I never liked Nixon and I celebrated when he was forced to resign from office.
Now that all this is our of the way I can tell you that I found the movie Frost/Nixon spellbinding. Absolutely spellbinding.
Yes, I remember the David Frost interviews. But I really wasn't aware of the complete story of the interviews until I went to see this remarkable film. The performances by Frank Langella (Nixon) and Michael Sheen (Frost) as well as Kevin Bacon, Toby Jones and Oliver Platt are all first rate. The direction by Ron Howard is tight, intense, disciplined, gripping.
If you lived through all of this, you will be awakened to the man and the times and the crisis all over again.
If you haven't, you will learn a great deal about politics, democracy, the media and our Constitution.
There is no doubt that Nixon will be studied forever.
And this film begins to put things into perspective
Nixon was a complex man -- an enigmatic, detached, difficult personality who stirred strong emotions, pro and con. And, he certainly had his grievances.
There are no heroes or villains in this film.
Instead, we see Nixon as the complicated personality that he was. And we see Frost for what he was and is. Interestingly enough, the two shared a bond that might not ordinarily be evident on first examination.
We are reminded that things are not what they might first appear to be.
This is a fascinating film -- intelligent, mature, significant.
And it deserves all the attention and all the award nominations that it is receiving.
I urge you to see Frost/Nixon!

Plethora Of Bowls

It used to be that the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl. Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl were enough, thank you.
But now there are so many bowl games that it's staggering.
Like everything else bowl day is several days (it seems to extend forever) and its staggering.
Now you've got all these bowl games: Alamo Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Eagle Bank Bowl, Emerald, Fiesta, Gator, GMAC, Hawaii Bowl, Holiday, Humanitarian, Independence, Insight, International, Las Vegas Bowl, Liberty, Meineke, Motor City, Music City, New Mexico, Papa John's Bowl, Pointsettia, St, Petersburg, Sun and Texas Bowl.
Of course, we DO congratulate Vanderbilt on winning the Music City Bowl yesterday.
And naturally, we're wishing Penn State the best in the Rose Bowl today ("JoePa! JoePah! Joe Paahh!). Plus, let's not forget Wake Forest's victory over Navy in the Eagle bank Bowl.
But where or where will it all end?!