Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Counting Jerks In Minnesota

Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman has accepted the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling which seats comedian Al (Stuart Smalley) Franken in the United States Senate.
Even for Minnesota (which elected Jesse "The Body" Ventura as Governor) this is a new low.
Coleman is a total class act. But Minnesota (loaded with "nice" people) seems to have enough classless jerks to embarrass itself time and time again.
And they joke about Joisey?
Here's the statement from Senator Coleman:
The news has arrived from the Minnesota Supreme Court and the conclusion to the 2008 United States Senate election has been reached.
I want you to be among the first to know of my decision to congratulate our newest Senator, Al Franken, for his victory. And, I ask you and all Minnesotans to join with me in giving our prayers and support to our state's new Senator and his family.
You have been my hope and my strength and my courage for these past many, many months. Your prayers, your comfort and your wisdom have guided me through the most difficult times over the past 8 months.
There are not enough words to express my gratitude and that of my family for your commitment to this effort. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done to make my life an incredible adventure.
God Bless You and Minnesota!

To which I would add: Minnesota (and all of the rest of us) will certainly needs God's blessings in abundance now.

Corzine's 'Worst Budget Ever'

New Jersey Republican Senate Budget Officer Anthony Bucco issued the following statement after Governor Jon Corzine signed the worst budget in state history into law:
“After eight years, we all know the routine,” Bucco said. “A Democrat governor signs an irresponsible budget that perpetuates a multi-billion dollar deficit and paves the way for a new round of tax increases and high-cost borrowing.
“Then the governor praises himself for making ‘tough’ choices, when he made few or none. He talks about ‘painful’ cuts, when the reality is he protected special interests and kicked the can down the road again, deferring billions of dollars of expenses so that our children and grandchildren can pay for his mistakes.
“Let the record show: multi-billion deficits didn’t start when the economic crisis hit last year. Trenton ran seven years of deficits during one of the most prosperous periods in our history. Instead of responding with courage and foresight, the governor and his allies helped push through every job-killing policy, irresponsible borrowing and tax increase possible.
“We now have by far the highest rate of unemployment rate of any state in our region. New Jersey has a unique economic problem. Yet rather than take real steps to fix it, Governor Corzine says he needs a Washington bailout again next year.
“I urge the governor to promise to change the budget script next year, if he is re-elected. Republicans, who did not run multi-billion-dollar deficits for eight years running, stand ready to help him bring fiscal responsibility back to New Jersey.”

Dems Ignore Flag Pledge

Yes, it's true that some strange things have been happening lately in the New York State Legislature. But this is one of the stangest developments we've ever seen!
Our thanks to Gateway Pundit and WCBS-TV for this clip.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Christie: Corzine Budget Sellout

New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie released the following statement regarding Governor Corzine signing the FY2010 budget today in Trenton:
"Today Governor Corzine once again showed that he has no problem standing behind a budget that contains $1.2 billion in taxes, leaves behind a $10 billion deficit and ensures that 1.2 million taxpayers won't receive a property tax rebate. The tough decisions this budget passes on to hard-working New Jerseyans is a stark reminder our governor is unable to manage state finances or keep control of state priorities. This budget is not a victory, but a brutal setback for our struggling economy and middle class families"

Court Overturns Sotomayor

The United States Supreme Court has just overturned Judge Sonja Sotomayor in that controversial firefighters case.
The Court sided with the firefighters' challenge and against Sotomayor in a stunning 5-4 vote.
This was an important affirmative action case and many felt Sotomayor might be knocked down by the nation's highest court.
And that's exactly what happened just moments ago

'Bring Guns To Church!'

From Dylan T. Lovan in the Durango (KY) Herald:
A Kentucky pastor invited his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.
New Bethel Church welcomed "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church Saturday. An ad says there was a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information about gun safety.
"We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation," said pastor Ken Pagano on June 3. "And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms - without that, this country wouldn't be here."
The guns must be unloaded, and private security will check visitors at the door, Pagano said.
He said recent church shootings, including the killing Sunday of a late-term abortion provider in Kansas, which he condemned, highlight the need to promote safe gun ownership.
The New Bethel Church event was planned months before Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in a Wichita church.
Kentucky allows residents to openly carry guns in public with some restrictions. Gun owners carrying concealed weapons must have state-issued permits and can't take them to schools, jails or bars, among other exceptions.
Pagano's Protestant church, which attracts as many as 150 people to Sunday services, is a member of the Assemblies of God. The former Marine and handgun instructor said he expected some backlash, but has heard only a "little bit" of criticism of the gun event.

St. Paul's Bones Authentic

From Nicole Winfield in the Detroit News:
The first-ever scientific test on what are believed to be the remains of the Apostle Paul "seems to confirm" that they do indeed belong to the Roman Catholic saint, Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday.
It was the second major discovery concerning St. Paul announced by the Vatican in as many days.
On Saturday, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano announced the June 19 discovery of a fresco inside another tomb depicting St. Paul, which Vatican officials said represented the oldest known icon of the apostle.
Benedict said archaeologists recently unearthed and opened the white marble sarcophagus located under the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome, which for some 2,000 years has been believed by the faithful to be the tomb of St. Paul.
Benedict said scientists had conducted carbon dating tests on bone fragments found inside the sarcophagus and confirmed that they date from the first or second century.
"This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul," Benedict said, announcing the findings at a service in the basilica to mark the end of the Vatican's Paoline year, in honor of the apostle.
Paul and Peter are the two main figures known for spreading the Christian faith after the death of Christ. . . .

Vatican archaeologists in 2002 began excavating the 8-foot(2.4-meter)-long tomb of St. Paul, which dates from at least A.D. 390 and was buried under the basilica's main altar. The decision to unearth it was made after pilgrims who came to Rome during the Roman Catholic Church's 2000 Jubilee year expressed disappointment at finding that the saint's tomb - buried under layers of plaster and further hidden by an iron grate - could not be visited or touched.

Don't Miss 'Away We Go'

Away We Go starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph is one of the true cinematic delights of the summer.
This sweet, incisive, romantic film tells a funny, endearing story in intelligent, human-sized terms.
It's the kind of American movie that we see all too rarely: poignant, winning, spontaneous; a movie with three-dimensional characters that you really care about.
Away We Go is a modern day road movie about two lovers who are trying to make a life and find their way in a country and a culture that has lost its way. Their journey is telling and revealing without those huge doses of snooty cynicism and/or outright vulgarities that have come to characterize modern movie comedies.
Now, I don't want you to think this movie is sappy because it's anything but. In fact, it's laugh-out-loud funny. But through all the comedy, it retains an appealing tenderness.
Directed by Sam Mendes, the movie features Jeff Daniels and Maggie Gillenhaal in key supporting roles. I won't tell you too much more about the Away We Go except to say that you owe it to yourself to see this film.
You'll not only have a fun time at the movies but you'll also lend your support to a very worthy independent flick that may inspire similar productions.

'My Little Margie' Dies

From Dennie McLellan in the Los Angeles Times:
Gale Storm, a Texas native who landed in Hollywood after winning a national talent search and later shot to the top on television as the vivacious star of two popular 1950s situation comedies, "My Little Margie" and "The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna," has died. She was 87.Storm, who also had a successful recording career during her TV heyday, died Saturday of natural causes at a convalescent hospital in the Northern California community of Danville, according to her son Peter Bonnell.
A summer replacement for "I Love Lucy," "My Little Margie" ran from 1952 to 1955, with Storm starring as the plucky young Margie Albright and Charles Farrell as her handsome widower father, Vern, who shared his Fifth Avenue apartment with her.Although critics generally panned "My Little Margie" as a lightweight farce, the public fell in love with the mischievous Margie. A 1953 poll of the most popular TV stars listed Storm at No. 2, behind TV comedy queen Lucille Ball.After "My Little Margie" ended, Storm starred in "The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna," in which she played social director Susanna Pomeroy aboard the luxury liner the SS Ocean Queen. The situation comedy, featuring Zasu Pitts as the ship's flighty beautician Elvira "Nugey" Nugent and Roy Roberts as Capt. Huxley, ran from 1956 to 1960. . . .
Storm, who received three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame recognizing her work in TV, radio and recording, saw her career decline dramatically after her second series ended in 1960.She kept busy with summer stock and dinner theater, starring in productions such as "Forty Carats," "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," "South Pacific," "Finian's Rainbow," "Cactus Flower" and "Plaza Suite.""My whole life has been a pattern of success," Storm told The Times in 1981. "So many marvelous things that I would never even have dreamt of wishing for [have] happened to me."
But there also was an unexpectedly dramatic downside.In 1980, she returned to the limelight as the commercial spokeswoman for Raleigh Hills Hospital, the now-defunct alcohol treatment chain where she had been treated for a serious bout with alcoholism.Alcoholism, she told The Times in 1988, "is a disease of denial. I had been the kind of alcoholic -- as so many women are -- that I was so careful. You talk about a secret drinker."
Professionally, she said, she never took a drink before a performance, and even socially, if everyone had only a drink or two, so would she. She could do that, she said, because "I'd fortify myself before I went out and I'd compensate afterward, as well.
"With me, once it [alcohol] got hold of me, I could go just so many hours without my body craving and demanding."She had been in and out of a number of hospitals before she heard of Raleigh Hills. In 1979, she underwent detoxification at the Raleigh Hills Hospital in Oxnard, followed by its aversion therapy and counseling program.

Afterward, she said, she never craved alcohol again."It was just like God turned it off. That was it! And it was heaven," said Storm, who chronicled her struggle with alcoholism in her 1981 autobiography, "I Ain't Down Yet."

No Odor, No Sweat Socks

From Hiroko Toda and Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan's Daily Yomiuri Online:
Okamoto Corp., a wholesale sock manufacturer based in Koryocho, Nara Prefecture, has a hit product--socks that do not trap moisture or give off an odor.
Tetsuji Okamoto, the company's 60-year-old president, said that when the firm was developing the socks, he kept a pair on for a whole week in the middle of summer. Okamoto said the socks did not give off any socklike aroma even when subjected to a close sniff.
"If we go with these, they're going to sell," Okamoto recalls saying.
"Super Sox" are one of the most popular items in the company's product line. They were designed to save wearers the discomfort of sweatiness and the embarrassment of offensive odors, using threads developed by the company over a six-year period.
The product soon became a hit. When launched in 2004, some customers bought 10 pairs at a time--despite the high prices, ranging from 800 yen to 1,800 yen per pair, excluding tax.
The strength of Okamoto lies in its product development. The company studies the physical features of the body and its physiology and has developed proprietary threads and knitting machines.
Through these efforts, the company has been able to strengthen its reputation.
In March 2006, however, Okamoto was notified out of the blue that a licensing agreement with a major brand would be canceled. The deal accounted for more than 10 percent, or 3 billion yen, of the company's annual sales.
At that time, Okamoto came to realize the danger of allowing its product line to become a "borrowed brand" unable to win recognition in its own right.
The company made a concerted effort to fill the sales void left by the departure of the major client, and in fiscal 2007 it made its biggest-ever ordinary profit.
The company now manufactures most of its products overseas. Domestic production of the company's various products has been scaled down as far as possible, although the firm still produces more socks domestically than any other maker in Japan.
In 2008, the company took over the management of a mid-ranking wholesale sock manufacturer in the United States.
"There's plenty of demand for good quality socks in the United States," Okamoto said.
The company, established in 1934, has 402 employees and had annual sales of 24.2 billion yen for the year ending March 2009. Besides Japan, the company has other manufacturing bases in China and Thailand.

John Edwards' Sex Tape

From Rush & Molloy in the New York Daily News:
Former presidential candidate John Edwards is out of luck if he hoped that the extramarital affairs ofGov. Mark Sanford and Sen. John Ensign would take people’s minds off his own cheating scandal.
Former Edwards aide
Andrew Young says the ex-senator and his former mistress, Rielle Hunter, once made a sex tape, according to someone who has seen Young’s book proposal.
St. Martin’s Press
just inked a deal with Young, who also says in his proposal that, contrary to his public statement last year, he is not the father of Hunter’s infant daughter — Edwards is. Edwards has denied that.
Young says that his belief in Edwards ran so deep that he agreed to take the fall for the candidate, inviting the pregnant Hunter to live with him, his wife, Cheri, and their three children. Later, after Hunter delivered the baby,
Young and his family moved to a different home in California.
While he was unpacking, Young discovered a videocassette, according to the book pitch. Hunter had been hired by the Edwards campaign to videotape the candidate’s movements, but this one is said to have shown him taking positions that weren’t on his official platform.
The purported sex tape confirmed to Hunter that Edwards was even more reckless than he thought.
According to our source, Hunter confided to Young that she and Edwards talked about getting married should the candidate’s cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, pass away, even discussing what music they’d play at their wedding.
Elizabeth Edwards is said to hold Young partly to blame for her husband’s affair, since Young knew it was going on and sometimes used his cell phone to conference the senator and his girlfriend. Young has told friends that, in revenge, Elizabeth arranged for the media to learn about a youthful misdeameanor in which Young was arrested for stealing a sign from a biker bar.
Elizabeth also suspects Young stole the baseball card collection of her late son, Wade, according to a source who says that she told Young in an e-mail that other former staff members “have passed lie detector tests.”
Young’s proposal, which one editor said “was impossible to put down,” also contends that Sen. Edwards frequently clashed with running mate John Kerry during their 2004 race for the White House. And before Edwards owned up to his affair with Hunter, Young says he told him that Barack Obama had promised he’d make him attorney general if he didn’t pick him as his 2008 running mate.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vote In Our Poll

We're asking you to vote for the greatest entertainer among five of the acknowledged legends of the entertainment world: The Beatles, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
Remember: You can only pick one!
Vote in our poll at the top right corner of this blog.
Vote now!

Michael Jackson's Secret Wish

By all accounts Michael Jackson had a secret longing, a secret wish.
Used and abused as a child; worked relentlessly from an early age and overwhelmed with responsibilities that he did not recognize and/or could not handle, he squandered vast riches and even endured creditors' dunning and a long, messy child sex scandal in a misguided search for the one thing he could not find: Love.
Jackson couldn't find love because he didn't know what it was.
He had no point of reference. When it came to love, he had no model, no clue.
He confused love with the adulation of the masses. But that only meant harder work, more performances and an empty feeling when it was all over.
Judy Garland (also a child star) was reportedly deeply conflicted by the adulation of her fans and their constant demands for additional encores. To paraphrase Judy (from a number of bios) "It doesn't matter how much I perform, how much I sing or how much I give in a performance. They always want more -- more, more. I hate them!"
She supposedly hated her fans because ultimately they could not give her what she needed most.
The crowds, the adulation, the faux worship -- these do not bring love.
The most rabid fans are takers who can never be satisfied. Never.
So, deeply in debt (a fate that also plagued Judy) Michael became a lost, lonely, twisted, reclusive figure who drifted from city to city and country to country; who refused to eat; who abused prescription drugs.
Today's New York Daily News reports:
The former nanny of Michael Jackson's kids painted a picture of the faded singer as a delusional nomad hopelessly addicted to prescription drugs.
"I had to pump his stomach many times. He always mixed so much of it," Grace Rwaramba, 42, told London's Sunday Times. "There was one period that it was so bad that I didn't let the children see him. . . . He always ate too little and mixed too much."
Rwaramba said she once became so concerned she reached out to Jackson's mother and sister to attempt an "intervention," only to have the pop star accuse her of betraying him.
"He didn't want to listen," Rwaramba, who worked for Jackson for more than a decade before leaving last December, told the paper.
Rwaramba said Jackson shuttled from country to country, staying in one hotel after another. At times, he was so penniless, Rwaramba said, she had to use her own credit card to purchase things like balloons for his children's birthday.

Blog Reaches The World!

France, Hungary, Romania, Costa Rica, England, Nigeria, Norway, Belgium, Japan, Canada, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
These are just some of the countries that this blog has reached in the past week.
People are logging in from every continent!
Someone from Nigeria was interested in Michael Jackson.
Someone in Saudi Arabia read about the guy who loves women's feet.
In the Philippines, it was Michael Jackson again.
In Japan someone read our review of the movie, "The Soloist."
In England someone read something that we wrote about New Year's Eve customs around the world.
And in Canada, someone was checking out a post on nude weddings. Brrrrr!
I never know what will attract readers but I'm grateful to everyone.
We welcome the world!

Top Three; Top Five!

Once again this week we find ourselves among the Top Three Most Influential Blogs as compiled by Blog Net News New Jersey.
We're in good company. The other blogs in the Top Three are CWA: Conservatives With Attitude and Politicker NJ.
We're so happy to be so oft-visited and so highly rated and it's all because of you. Keep visiting and keep telling others about the blog. You are the reason for our success and we apprecaite it more than you'll ever know.
BTW: Here are the top five stories recently posted here:
1) Michael Jackson's Spiritual Crisis
2) He Loves Women's Sexy Feet
3) How Mark Sanford Escaped
4) Emerging Star Jeff Glor
5) The Real Michael Jackson

Infomercial King Found Dead

From Fox News:
Television pitchman Billy Mays — who built his fame by appearing on commercials and infomercials promoting household products and gadgets — died Sunday, FOX News confirms.
Mays was found unresponsive by his wife inside his Tampa
, Fla., home at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Tampa Police Department.
Police said there were no signs of forced entry to May's residence and foul play is not suspected. Authorities said an autopsy should be complete by Monday afternoon.
Mays, 50, was on board a US Airways flight
that blew out its front tires as it landed at a Tampa airport on Saturday, MyFOXTampa.com reported.
US Airways spokesman Jim Olson said that none of the 138 passengers and five crew members were injured in the incident, but several passengers reported having bumps and bruises, according to the station.
Authorities have not said whether Mays' death was related to the incident.
"Although Billy lived a public life, we don't anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days. Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times," Mays wife, Deborah, said in a statement on Sunday.

Noonan: Obama's Not Succeeding

Peggy Noona in the Wall Street Journal with serious, serious second thoughts about Obama:
Mr. Obama's White House is, at the moment, like most new White Houses. Every administration wants to do great things. Or, rather, it wants greatness. It wants to break through on some great issue or issues and claim to be, as they used to say, consequential. There's a busy hum of action. It can cause a blur. Everyone who works for a nation gets carried away. . . .
A friend says that what's missing is an adult and responsible sense of limits, that we need to remember—we need to be reminded by our leaders—that it's not un-American to see limits. It's adult to see limits, it's right and realistic.
Are we beginning the journey back to anything like fiscal health? Who thinks the answer is yes? There's a pervasive sense that still, nine months into the crash, "we live in castles built on sand." We're not building on anything secure. Instead, and more and more, we have a series of presidential actions that seem less like proposals than non sequiturs. A new health-care program that Congress itself says will cost a trillion dollars over 10 years? A new energy program that will cost however many hundreds of billions in however many years? Running General Motors, and discussing where its plants should be, and what the interiors of the cars should look like, and shouldn't the little cup holder be bigger to account for Starbucks-sized coffee? Wait, what if it's a venti latte? One imagines the conversation in the car czar's office: "You know, I've always wanted to see a mauve car because mauve is my favorite color, I mean to the extent it's a color."
There is a persistent sense of extraneous effort, of ambitions too big and yet too small, too off point, too base-pleading, too ideological, too unaware of the imperatives. And there is the depressing psychological effect of seeing government grow so much, so big, so fast. This encourages a sense that things are out of control and cannot be made better.
In terms of our security, we face challenges all over the world, from state and nonstate actors. Today a headline popped up on my screen: North Korea has threatened to attack us. A mordant response: Get in line, buddy. The administration, which has been appropriately modest in its face toward the world, should be more modest internally, and seek a new and serious bipartisan consensus on our defense system, our security, our civil defense, our safety. This of course is an impossible dream, but it was impossible back in the fractious '50s to reach a workable consensus on a strategy toward the Soviets. And yet we did it. Do we have anything like a bipartisan strategy for our age? Not nearly. We're split in two, in three. We'll wish someday we did. It is amazing we don't even talk about this.

Obama: 2.5 M Jobs Lost!

From Gateway Pundit:
Disaster--The US lost over 2.5 million jobs in the first four months of this year under the Obama Administration.
The US unemployment rate rose from 7.6% to 9.4% under Obama... the highest rate in 25 years.
Bureau of Labor Statistics- via Sweetness and Light
The US has lost 16,000 jobs each day since Democrats passed their non-Stimulus bill, the largest redistribution of wealth from the private sector to government officials in US history.
Obama promised the Stimulus bill would bring down unemployment. The GOP point out the record job losses under the Obama Administration in weekly internet message.
Breitbart reported:
Republicans concerned about the Obama administration's big spending on economic stimulus, energy and health care are asking, "Where are the jobs?""The president and Democrats in Congress claim this spending binge is necessary to put Americans back to work," House Republican leader John Boehner said Saturday in the Republican radio and Internet address. "They promised unemployment would not rise above 8 percent if their trillion-dollar stimulus was passed. The administration was wrong, Boehner said.

"Unemployment has soared above 9 percent. And now the president admits that unemployment will soon reach double digits. "After all of this spending, after all of this borrowing from China, the Middle East, our children and our grandchildren, where are the jobs?" he said.
Since President Barack Obama's stimulus plan to trigger job creation was passed, the economy has shed 1.6 million jobs. The administration has focused instead on its estimate that the stimulus has created or saved 150,000 jobs. That estimate comes from a formula that uses government spending and tax cuts to predict job growth. The formula has been used by Republicans and Democrats alike, but was built to predict, not count jobs.
To count jobs, economists traditionally rely on Labor Department data on unemployment, manufacturing and construction activity, and county-by-county, state-by-state job reports. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said early this week that the president expects the nation will reach 10 percent unemployment within the next few months.
In January, Obama's economic team predicted unemployment would rise no higher than 8 percent with the help of a $787 billion stimulus program. The unemployment rate in May reached a 25-year high of 9.4 percent. Obama aides have said that the economy took a turn for the worse since their initial forecast.
And there's more: Figures are hard to ignore. The American people are catching on. Now, more than 40% say this is "Obama's economy" and "Obama's recession."
The clock is ticking . . .

Obama: Reality Sets In

Cartoon by Jerry Holbert - TownHall.com

HS Has 18 Valedictorians

From Caitlin Murray at the Buffalo News:
When Niagara Falls High School seniors graduate today, they may hear some encouraging words from the valedictorian of their class.
Then again, maybe they won’t. That’s because no one really knows who ranked No. 1 in the class of 2009.
Niagara Falls High School is the first in Niagara County to get rid of class rankings and valedictorians, a decision officials say was designed out of fairness.
Instead, 18 students will graduate today with so-called valedictory honors as their true class rank remains a mystery — one that school officials say even they can’t solve.
“We felt it was nice to recognize a valedictorian, but those other kids were so close,” said James Spanbauer, head of Niagara Falls High School. “We’re talking hundredths of a point sometimes. We felt they were all deserving.”
Students are mixed on their feelings of the new system. Some say it is nice that more can be honored, but others feel the shared honor lacks the same impact.
“It was disappointing because I had been working hard all these years to be No. 1. That was my goal,” said 17-year-old Kelly O’Brien. “It took a long time for me to, like, be OK with it.”
Instead, competitive students kept an eye toward the two valedictory speaking slots at today’s graduation ceremony. The speakers were selected by a panel based on interviews and a submitted speech outline. O’Brien will be one of the speakers, along with Chloe Legault.

Harry Murray was the valedictorian at my high school graduation. Yeah, Harry was a smart guy but he always seemed a bit enigmatic.
Anyway, I think he went on to Princeton. Beyond that, I have no idea what happened to him. Never read about him becoming famous or anything like that.
What happened to you, Harry? Are you out there? Talk to us. We'd love to hear from you.

Corzine: Watch What He Does!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Biden: NJ Governor Is Kaine

Jon Corzine practically brokered away our state in deals with the unions just so that he could pull off his primary election night rally with Joe Biden last month but now Biden doesn't even remember his name.
Biden still thinks our governor is named Kean, or Kaine (sounds the same no matter how you spell it). But former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean left the Governor's office twenty years ago! And Tim Kaine is now the Governor of Virginia and Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Well, given the Democrat's prognosis in Joisey this November maybe Biden would like to forget that Jon Corzine really is our Governor. But Biden and the Democrats are stuck with Corzine as their standard-bearer. Suck it up, Joe.
Anyway, here's the story from Andrew Malcolm at the Los Angeles Times:
Washington. Mandarin Oriental Hotel. LGBT fundraiser. Hauled in about $1 mill. 33% better than last year with Michelle Obama.
Maybe four dozen protesters outside, impatient with the Obama administration's perceived slow pace on lesbian and gay issues. Signs: "SHAME." "Gay Uncle Toms." Chants: "Shame on You." "Boycott the Bigots."
Inside, Biden spoke 20 mins. Lots of applause. "I am not unaware of the controversy swirling around this dinner and swirling around the speed or lack thereof that we are moving on issues that are of great importance to you."
Boasted the new administration has appointed 60 gays or lesbians, including nine requiring Senate confirmation. Promised to "put some pace on the ball."
Standing ovations as he pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, Don't Ask Don't Tell and get passage of the Lieberman-Baldwin bill on health benefits.
Additionally, Biden promised to put a ban on workplace discrimination, get adoption rights for all and end
the HIV travel ban.
Biden also praised Tim Kaine as the "great governor of New Jersey."
One problem: Tim Kaine's not governor of New Jersey.
Jon Corzine (right) is governor of New Jersey (Remember, he didn't wear his seatbelt in the state patrol car for the big high-speed crash).
Tim Kaine is governor of another state, called Virginia.
He's also chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Biden is from Delaware

Kerry Palin Joke Not Funny

From David Knowles at Politics Daily:
Speaking before a group of business and civic leaders in Boston, Sen. John Kerry let fly with an ill-advised attempt at humor. The butt of the joke, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is not likely to be amused. In a reference to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who was, at the time the joke was told, believed to be talking a prolonged, solitary hike on the Appalachian Trail, the Massachusetts Democrat told the crowd:
"Too bad," Kerry said, "if a governor had to go missing it couldn't have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin."The fact that Kerry, like the rest of us, did not know that Sanford was really down in Argentina with the woman with whom he's been having an extramarital affair is beside the point. This joke is simply awful. A) Hoping for a person's disappearance, even in jest, and even if she is a political enemy, is just not nice. B) Sanford and Palin are on virtually equal footing in terms of their political leanings. Both are far-right, Christian conservatives. So why single Palin out in such a crass way? Perhaps Kerry should consider leaving the comedy routines to the likes of David Letterman... oh, wait.
On second thought...
John Kerry's just not a very funny guy.
And Barack Obama's not very funny either: Making jokes about Nancy Reagan having "seances" in the White House.
In fact, the current crop of Democrats aren't the list bit funny. One can't even picture White House Press Secretary Gibbs making a joke about anything. And Rahm Emanuel's so sinister his lame attempts at jokes all turn out to be just this side of mean.
And Nancy Pelosi? Well, Queen Nancy is funny to look at.

How Mark Sanford Escaped

From columnist Mark Steyn:
In a lousy week, Mark Sanford had one stroke of luck: Michael Jackson chose the day after the governor's news conference to moonwalk into eternity, and thus gave the media's pop therapists a more rewarding subject to feast on – or at any rate one of the few stories whose salient points are weirder than Sanford's. Not that the governor didn't do his best to keep his end up on the pop culture allusions: "I've spent the last five days crying in Argentina," he revealed, in presumably unconscious hommage to Evita.
The plot owed less to Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber than to one of those Fox movies of the early Forties in which some wholesome All-American type escapes the stress and strain of modern life by taking off for a quiet weekend in Latin America, and the next thing you know they're doing the rhumba on the floor of a Rio nightclub surrounded by Carmen Miranda and 200 gay caballeros prancing around waving giant bananas. In this case, the gentlemen of the South Carolina Press were the befuddled caballeros and Gov. Sanford was bananas.
There is a rather large point to all this. As my National Review colleague Kathryn Jean Lopez observed, a sex scandal a week from the Republicans will guarantee us government health care by the fall – in the same way that the British Tories' boundlessly versatile sexual predilections helped deliver the Blair landslide of 1997. And once government health care's in place the game's over: Socialized medicine redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in all the wrong ways, and, if you cross that bridge, it's all but impossible to go back. So, if ever there were a season for GOP philanderers not to unpeel their bananas, this summer is it. . . .

I was asked the other day about the difference between American and British sex scandals. In its heyday, Brit sex was about the action – Lord Lambton's three-in-a-bed biracial sex romp; Harvey Proctor's industrial-scale spanking of rent boys; Max Mosley's Nazi bondage sessions, with a fine eye for historical accuracy and the orders barked out in surprisingly accurate German; Stephen Milligan's accidental auto-erotic asphyxiation while lying on a kitchen table wearing fishnet stockings….
With the exception of the last ill-fated foray, there was an insouciance to these remarkably specialized peccadilloes.
By contrast, American sex scandals seem to be either minor campaign-finance infractions – the cheerless half-hearted affair with an aide – or, like Gov. Sanford's pitiful tale (at least as recounted at his news conference and as confirmed by the e-mails), a glimpse of loneliness and social isolation, as if in the end all they want is the chance to be sitting at the bar telling the gal with the nice smile, "My wife, and my staffers, and my security detail, and the State House press corps, and the guy who writes my Twitter Tweet of the Day, don't understand me."
Small government, narrow responsibilities, part-time legislators and executives, a minimal number of aides, lots of days off: Let's burst the bubble.

Elizabeth's Taylor's 'Empty Life'

From Ann Oldenburg at USA Today:
One of Michael Jackson's closest friends, the veteran actress Elizabeth Taylor, broke her silence and has released her statement about the singer's death.
"My heart…my mind… are broken. I loved Michael with all my soul and I can’t imagine life without him. We had so much in common and we had such loving fun together. I was packing up my clothes to go to London for his opening when I heard the news. I still can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it. It can’t be so. He will live in my heart forever but it’s not enough. My life feels so empty. I don’t think anyone knew how much we loved each other. The purest most giving love I’ve ever known. Oh God! I’m going to miss him. I can’t yet imagine life with out him. But I guess with God’s help... I’ll learn. I keep looking at the photo he gave me of himself, which says, 'To my true love Elizabeth, I love you forever.' And, I will love HIM forever."

He Loves Women's Sexy Feet

From Flash News:
One Bachelorette reject is putting his best foot forward and continuing his search for a woman with hot feet.
Tanner Pope was eliminated from The Bachelorette this past Monday (Jun. 22). On the show, he constantly talked about his bizarre attraction to women’s feet, including bachelorette Jillian Harris’.
Pope – who’s had a foot fetish for years – says all women’s feet are “cute and feminine,” but the icing on the cake is when a gal’s toes are painted.
He says women’s feet are much hotter than guys’, since dudes don’t really take care of their dogs.
Though Pope claims feet “are not a deal breaker” for him in relationships, he does hope to wind up with a woman with pretty ones.
The perfect scenario would be dating a girl in the summertime – when she’d be wearing flip-flops – making it easy for Pope to “catch a glimpse” of her feet.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays on ABC.

Coming: 'New' Jackson Music

From Murad Ahmed in The Times of London:
A secret library of over a hundred songs recorded by Michael Jackson could be released following his death.
One of the singer's biographers, Ian Halperin, claimed that the unheard songs had been made for his children.
Mr Halperin, author of Unmasked, The Michael Jackson Story, said before his death: “He wants to leave them for his kids, a very personal legacy to them. I was told he will not let them come out now.”
Jackson leaves three children: Prince, 12, Paris Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael II aged seven.
It is rumoured, given the parlous financial situation of his estate, that any such recordings will not be kept private for long. It is understood that Jackson may have gone to the grave under debts of about $400 million (£240 million) – though some believe the true figure may be much higher.
Sales of Michael Jackson’s music and memorabilia have already begun to soar. In America, the Thriller album is number one on iTunes, while his Number Ones album has now reached the top spot on the UK iTunes chart.
Online retailers Amazon say that Jackson’s albums had taken 14 of the top 20 places on the Amazon.co.uk sales chart. The Amazon chart was topped by his first solo album, Off The Wall, which features tracks such as "Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough" and "She’s Out Of My Life".
Already, Jackson’s death is beginning to producing a new industry. Outside the Los Angeles hospital where he was pronounced dead, a group of men appeared selling $10 T-shirts with a silhouette of Jackson and reading: “In loving memory of Michael Jackson.” Memorial T-shirts were also being sold at the Glastonbury music festival.
On eBay, bidding grew on a number of Jackson memorabilia items. Limited edition records, musical instruments used by the star and even a movie contract with his signature were being sold for thousands of pounds.
The Neverland ranch and Jackson’s final resting place, if made accessible to the public, could also become lucrative tourist attractions.

If Sanford Said This . . .

From Dorothy Rabinowitz at the Wall Street Journal:
Can we dream that some day a Mark Sanford -- or any other self-acknowledged miscreant -- will say what there is to say and refuse to slobber before the cameras?
"I come before you in what is clearly a predicament, but without, I hope any pretense. There's no pretense in having an affair -- affairs are real, very compellingly so. There are lies, yes -- to one's wife and family and staff -- but that's a different story. And while I'm on the subject, let me say the only apology I plan to offer in public is to the members of my staff I left in confusion about my whereabouts with nonsense about hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
"I have no intention of babbling about mistakes, or about problems of exhaustion and stress that could have led to my affair -- and no intention of standing here, like so many dolts before me, looking vacant and miserable, as though I'd just come through some kind of punishment camp that left me brainwashed.
"I had an affair, not an overnight encounter -- and an affair, as you ladies and gentlemen of the media know -- is about falling for someone in a way that makes you forget about everything and everyone else. It's true for men, it's true for women.
"I knew what I was doing, and, yes, I loved it, and all its pains, too. That is an affair. It works till its over, and the price can be high. I don't expect to allow that price to include talking about this to the media, or answering their idiotic questions about how my wife feels, or whether I've talked to my children, or whether I can still imagine myself a contender for the presidency.
"Furthermore, I've seen too many breast-beaters in my situation deliver public apologies to their wives and children before crowds of reporters. I have no intention of taking part in any such bizarre -- not to mention shameless -- spectacle. A man who apologizes to his wife and children, who holds forth tearfully about having betrayed them, for media consumption, is, anyway, too lacking in dignity to hold public office of any kind.
"So let's understand this. I plan to straighten my tie, button my jacket, maybe buy a new suit, and go forward to do what I have to do. Life's complicated, ladies and gentlemen, but there's work to be done. I'll have nothing further on this, count on it.
"All the best."

Michael Jackson's Spiritual Tragedy

From Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in the Jerusalem Post:
In the two years that I had attempted, ultimately unsuccessfully, to help Michael repair his life, what most frightened me was not that he would be arrested again for child molestation, although he later was. Rather it was that he would die. As I told CNN on April 22, 2004, "My great fear, and why I felt I had to be distanced from Michael ... was that he would not live long. My fear was that Michael's life would be cut short. When you have no ingredients of a healthy life, when you are totally detached from that which is normal, and when you are a super-celebrity you, God forbid, end up like Janis Joplin like Elvis... Michael is headed in that direction."
I am no prophet and it did not take a rocket scientist to see the impending doom. Michael was a man in tremendous pain and his tragedy was to medicate his pain away rather than addressing its root cause. On many occasions when I visited him he would emerge from his room woozy and clearly sedated. Who were the doctors who were giving him this stuff? Was there no one to save him from himself? Was there no one to intervene?
By the time I met Michael in the summer of 1999, he was already one of the most famous people in the world, but he seemed lethargic, burned-out, and purposeless. He wanted to consecrate his great fame to helping children but knew he could not due to the 1993 child molestation allegations against him. He was cut off from family and was alienated from the Jehovah's Witnesses Church which had nurtured him. He could barely muster the energy to complete the album he was working on. The only thing that seemed to motivate him was his children, to whom he was exceptionally devoted.
As we grew closer, I tried to impress on Michael that his salvation would come not from further concerts or album sales, but from reconnecting with loved ones, finding a spiritual anchor, replacing his desire for attention with a hunger for righteous action, and surrounding himself with serious and wise friends. I took him to meet Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate. We lectured at Carnegie Hall together. At Oxford University he delivered a lecture asking all children to forgive their parents if they had been neglectful. On the way down to the university he had called his father Joe to tell him he loved him. All this was significant progress. He came with me to synagogue and regularly attended Shabbat dinner. He seemed directed and content.
Alas, Michael could not sustain the spiritual effort. He felt that many of the activities I advocated he undertake, like the day he handed out books to parents to read to their children in Newark, New Jersey, were too ordinary for a superstar. He felt he was being demystified. He needed the throngs, he thrived on the adulation of the crowds.
In many ways his tragedy was to mistake attention for love. I will never forget what he said when we sat down to record 40 hours of conversations where he would finally reveal himself for a book I authored. He turned to me and said these haunting words: "I am going to say something I have never said before and this is the truth. I have no reason to lie to you and God knows I am telling the truth. I think all my success and fame, and I have wanted it, I have wanted it because I wanted to be loved. That's all. That's the real truth. I wanted people to love me, truly love me, because I never really felt loved. I said I know I have an ability. Maybe if I sharpened my craft, maybe people will love me more. I just wanted to be loved because I think it is very important to be loved and to tell people that you love them and to look in their eyes and say it." One cannot read these words without feeling a tremendous sadness for a soul that was so surrounded with hero-worship but remained so utterly alone. Because Michael substituted attention for love he got fans who loved what he did but he never had true compatriots who loved him for who he was. Perhaps this is why, when so many of his inner circle saw him destroying his life with prescription medication - something he used to treat phantom physical illnesses which were really afflictions of the soul - they allowed him to deteriorate and disintegrate rather than throwing the poison in the garbage.
Michael's death is not just a personal tragedy, it is an American tragedy. Michael's story was the stuff of the American dream - a poor black boy who grows up in Gary, Indiana, and ends up a billionaire entertainer. But we now know how the story ends. Money is not a currency by which we can purchase self-esteem and being recognized on the streets will never replace being loved unconditionally by family and true friends.
I miss Michael, I miss him very much. He was far from a saint. But there was a gentility and nobility of spirit that I found humbling and inspiring in a man so accomplished. My heart bleeds for his children whom he adored and who adored him in turn. I think of Prince and Paris and how attached they were to a father who regularly told me that he knew that when they grew up they would be asked by biographers what kind of father he had been. He wanted them to have only warm memories to share. Alas, the memories will remain incomplete.
I pray for them, I pray for his family. And I pray for America.

These GOP Traitors Voted 'Yes'

Here are the names of the eight Republican Members of Congress (RINOS - Republicans In Name Only) who voted for the Cap and Trade Bill - the largest single tax increase in American history.
This measure passed by seven votes. These eight made the difference
Had they remained true to their Republican principles this huge tax increase would have never passed the House. It would have died.
But, instead it now moves to the Senate where we must continue the fight.
Sadly, four of these eight (Smith, LoBiondo, Castle and Lance) are from the tri-state area. Even worse, three of them (Smith, LoBiondo and Lance) are from Joisey.
They oughta be ashamed of themselves.
Click on their names to contact their offices directly. Or, call the area members whose numbers are shown. Or, do both.
Call, e-mail, write and tell others to do the same.
Tell these Members of Congress that they sold you out.
Tell them they fleeced you.
Tell them you'll remember what they did.
Here they are:
Mary Bono Mack
Mike Castle 202-225-4165
Mark Steven Kirk
Leonard Lance
Frank LoBiondo 202-225-6572
John McHugh
Dave Reichert
Christopher Smith (NJ) 202-225-3765

Friday, June 26, 2009

Numbers Favor US Soccer

From Flash News:
The U.S. soccer team’s shocking win over Spain on Wednesday (Jun. 24) was written in the numbers.
According to numerologist Julian Michael, when you look at the date of the game, the score, and the fact that the U.S. broke Spain’s 35-game winning streak, the numbers add up favorably for the underdogs.
In numerology, you add up the numbers to come up with the simplest figure possible.
The 35-game streak becomes the number 8 by adding 3 plus 5, and Michael says 8 represents power, both physical and mental, which Spain’s team had until their loss.
The score, 2-0, adds up to 2, which represents union and family. Michael says the U.S. team played like a family, which lead to the conquering of Spain.
The fact that the match-up took place in the sixth month of the year means the U.S. team played with a lot of heart.
The year – 2009 – represents “unpredictability” and letting go of the past, a day for “transformation and change.”

Don't Miss 'Napoleon!'

Maybe you studied Naploeon Bonaparte in history class.
Maybe you read a book or two about him.
Maybe you saw a movie or a TV series about Napoleon.
No matter.
Whatever you know or think you know about Napoleon, think again.
Because the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is featuring the definitive exhibition on Napoleon this summer and you owe it to yourself to experience it. We saw the exhibition earlier this week and it is by far the best show that the Constitution Center has ever assembled.
In this extensive collection of photos, extraordinary paintings, furniture, revealing information and real, live artifacts you will also find Napoleon's letters, books, numerous personal items, medals, uniforms and even his signature hat.
It's breathtaking!
And you will see how Napoleon cultivated an image of himself, consciously building a reputation that became a legend,
You will also discover Napoleon's links to America. One of his brothers resided here in nearby Burlington County (NJ). Another brother helped to found our own FBI. Napoleon himself was a great admirer of Washington and of our American democracy.
And, after all, Napoleon was the seller behind the greatest real estate deal in American history — the Louisiana Purchase — which doubled the size of the country at a cost of $15 million, or approximately four cents per acre, NapolĂ©on Bonaparte (1769-1821) remains an undeniably powerful and enigmatic figure in world history.
This exhibit offers visitors a rare opportunity to explore the private life of the Emperor of France and to see beyond the legend to gain an understanding of this complex political leader whose actions reshaped the landscape of Europe and America.
Napoleon continues at the National Constitution Center through September 7.
Don't miss it!

Cherry Hill: Free FroYo Today!

You can get free Sprinkles frozen yogurt all day TODAY, Friday, June 26 at the new Sprinkles at Garden State Park on Route 70 at Haddonfield Road in the shopping plaza just behind Wegman's.

Hold Him Accountable!

113-Year-Old Man's Secret

From Flash News:
Cigarettes, whiskey, and wild, wild women” is the secret recipe for a long, healthy life.
At least that’s according to 113-year-old Henry Allingham, who became the oldest living man last week after the death of Japanese-born Tomoji Tanabe.
Up until a few years ago, Allingham admits he still enjoyed a good cigar.
This week,
Buck Wolf of About.com’s Weird News Central looks at the unlikely indulgences of the world’s great “super centenarians.”
Oddly enough, Wolf notes that “alcohol and tobacco had an unmistakable role in the lives of people who famously lived far beyond 100.”
Jeanne Calment, the port-drinking, chocolate-loving French woman who lived to 122 and once held the Guinness World Record, only gave up smoking at 117.
The oldest Canadian on record, Marie-Louise Febronie Meilleur began smoking as a teen and didn’t kick the habit until she was 90. She lived another 27 years after that.

Bad Atlantic City Getaway

Freinds of ours have reported a harrowing story about their recent trip to Atlantic City.
It seems they wanted to get away for a few days and cheked into the Hilton, well . . . . here's how they explain it:
We thought it would be nice to go down to A.C. for a couple of days this week.
So we called the Hilton and asked if they had a beach bar and if there were umbrellas/chairs rented on their beach.
The answer to both questions was yes.
We got there Tues. about 2 pm, and it was beautiful there.
Went to eat lunch at the beach bar. Closed until this weekend, or maybe today, or maybe Friday.
No one seemed to know. All we do know is that it was closed Tues and Wed.
Went to rent chairs/umbrellas. That too was closed.
Again, no one knew when it would open. Just not open Tues. and Wed.
Sat around the pool Wednesday (indoors). It was full of kids, but that goes with the territory, so we blocked out their noise and read books.
At 6 pm the "spa" staff walks out, announces that the pool is closing and everyone has to leave. Now it's raining cats and dogs right then, so what were these parents supposed to do with their kids?
Oh, but I need to regress: Tues., after seeing the Hilton beach bar was closed, we walked 12 blocks down to the one at Caesars. I ordered one of their "specialty" drinks--a mojito. The waitress returns: no mint. I order a pinot grigio. The waitress returns: no pinot. I order a chardoney. It tastes like beer.
Now fast forward to Wed. After being thrown out of the pool, we returned to our room (filthy carpet, but the bathroom was clean--I'll let you know how I know that later). Decided to eat at one of the restaurants in the hotel because it was pouring rain.
Guess what? Only the coffee shop and a burger bar were open. NO BARS!!!
Only the bar at the Burger Bar. (Which I"m guessing specialized in beer, but we didn't try it). No honestly. I asked a manager where a bar was, and he said they were all closed, until, are you ready? -- The Weekend!
Back to our room. On Wednesday night/ Thursday morning at about 2 a. m. a party starts in the room next to us. We tried putting pillows over our heads. No point. So, at 2:30, we got up, packed our suitcases, and left. We got home a little before 4 a.m. Thursday.
We told the manager on duty when we were checking out, that he and all the staff had better start looking for jobs a.s.a.p, because if PA opens table gaming, why would anyone go to Atlantic City anymore?
Now I must say that all the people working at the Hilton were very nice and quite unhappy with what the hotel did not offer. My theory is that the owners of the Hilton want it to close, and then they can turn it into condos.
There was no one on the casino floor. Why would there be? Without liquor, what's the point?
So now our friends are really down on Atlantic City.
Their experience also invluded a very bad meal at P. F. Chang's. They say they'll never go back to Atlantic City.
I feel sorry for them and hope they'll reconsider.
My prescription: Next time, try The Borgata. You won't be disappointed.
BTW: An entirely different set of friends also reported a dreadful experience at Patsy's restaurant (the famous pasta place from New York) inside The Atlantic City Hilton.

Climate Bill Arm Twisting

From Troy Newmyer at Roll Call:
Throughout the day [Thursday], Pelosi and her deputies could be seen stalking the aisles of the House chamber during votes, buttonholing their slowly shrinking list of targets.
But several Democratic moderates said they continue to harbor reservations about the bill. Their concerns ranged from the general — as lawmakers struggled to get familiar with a complex and sprawling measure that clocked in at 1,201 pages — to the parochial.
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) said he is leaning against the bill, pending the addition of a provision to support projects to convert waste products into energy, a home-state industry. Rep. John Boccieri (D-Ohio), one of many to field a call from Obama, said he is pushing for the authorization of a Midwestern power marketing authority. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) was facing intense pressure from leaders and the White House, including a call from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, a friend from her tenure in the House and a neighbor at his condo complex. Cuellar has described himself as “leaning no,” since farm groups back home remain opposed. But the Texas Democrat said a call from Obama was having an impact on his thinking. “He’s pretty persuasive,” he said of the president.
Democratic leaders are hoping to pick up five to 10 moderate Republicans, and they also trained their fire on those lawmakers on Thursday.
At one point, Pelosi chased after Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.) as he passed by in the hall to gauge his support on the bill.
“Well, we’re still thinking about it,” Johnson said.
Pelosi, holding Johnson’s arm and smiling, replied, “Still thinking. If you have any questions, give me a call.”

Climate Bill Teetering

From Jared Allen at The Hill:
Surveys conducted by The Hill throughout this week suggest at least 10 Democrats will reject the bill and at least a dozen more are undecided. With Republicans expected to overwhelmingly reject the bill, Democrats will need to minimize defections.
Friday’s vote will be arguably the most important of Pelosi’s career. She has labeled climate change her flagship issue and has spent weeks attempting to round up the votes to pass the measure through the House.
Many Democrats whipping the bill said it was possible that they won’t have a solid 218 yes votes until the bill is actually passed.
“A lot of times you won’t get members off the fence until you have a vote,” said Rep. Bark Stupak (D-Mich.), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
That comment stoked memories of the 2003 Medicare prescription drug vote, where Republicans lacked the votes to pass their bill until it hit the floor. After holding the vote open for nearly three hours, and following calls from then-President George W. Bush to skeptical Republicans, the measure passed.
Stupak said that Democrats had entered the critical “member management” phase.
“It’s members talking to members saying, ‘Look, we’re from similar districts. If I’m for it why can’t you be?’ ” Stupak said.
Obama joined in the effort publicly on Thursday, giving a short but widely publicized speech from the Rose Garden.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of this vote,” Obama said, at the same time acknowledging that he expected the vote to be “close.”

The [Re]branding Of Michelle

From Lois Romano at the Washington Post:
For weeks, Michelle Obama had been telling her staff and closest confidantes that she wasn't having the impact she wanted. She is a woman of substance, with a background in law, public policy and management, who found herself relegated to role model in chief. The West Wing of the White House -- the fulcrum of power and policy -- had not fully integrated her into its agenda. She wanted more.
So, earlier this month, she changed her chief of staff, and now she's changing her role.
Her new chief of staff, Susan Sher, 61, is a close friend and former boss who the first lady thinks will be more forceful about getting her and her team on the West Wing's radar screen. The first thing Sher said she told senior adviser David Axelrod, whom she has known for years: When I call, "you need to get back to me right away."
The former chief of staff, Jackie Norris, 37, was "not on the first lady's wavelength," said one source, echoing others, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. "Susan is more of a peer," a senior White House official said. "I think that's probably a better model."
Although Obama's job-approval ratings have soared, the first lady -- a Harvard-educated lawyer -- wasn't satisfied with coasting. She is hiring a full-time speechwriter and has instructed her staff to think "strategically" so that every event has a purpose and a message. She doesn't want to simply go to events and hug struggling military families, she said; she wants to show progress. "Her desire is to step out more and have deliverables," said communications chief Camille Johnston. "It's about things that are coming up that we want to be a part of: child nutrition reauthorization act, prevention and wellness for health-care reform."
In the past couple of weeks, Obama has been more vocal about the specifics of the president's health plan, and she will play a substantive role in promoting it. She will soon announce the creation of an advisory board to help military families. And she will be the face of the administration's United We Serve, a summer-long national service program, which she launched on Monday. Even her social events have a message: She let congressional families know that before the annual White House barbecue today, the 500 guests are expected to show up at Fort McNair to stuff camp backpacks with goodies for the children of military personnel.
Obama has also taken stock of her family life, which she has found to be more constrained than she expected. She has concluded that there's really only one road toward some semblance of a private life for them -- and it leads away from the White House.

Free Frozen Yogurt Today!

You can get free Sprinkles frozen yogurt all day TODAY, Friday, June 26 at the new Sprinkles at Garden State Park on Route 70 at Haddonfield Road in the shopping plaza just behind Wegman's.
The California frozen yogurt craze is based on low-fat, probiotic fresh-made tart flavors and a self-serve concept and now it is is coming to the Philadelphia region.
Twenty-something siblings Ryan (age 27) and Matt (age 24) Mealey have started Sprinkles, which will open four stores in the region over the next few months, starting with this first store in Cherry Hill followed by stores on the Penn campus, West Chester, and Malvern .Each store's opening will draw hundreds of customers with free frozen yogurt all day.
Hours are 11am-9pm weekdays and 11am-10pm weekends.
The new "fro-yo 2.0" craze started in California with Pinkberry in 2005, followed by Red Mango, Kiwiberri, Berri Good, IceBerry, and others.
Across California, these new frozen yogurt shops have replaced most ice cream stores. At Sprinkles, 90-95% of the flavors are fat-free, with only 10 calories per ounce.
Healthy toppings such as fresh fruit and nuts have made this a popular replacement for breakfast, lunch or even dinner -- it's not just for dessert.
The difference is that this new generation of fro-yo has active yogurt cultures (adding tartness) with probiotics. Independent research has shown that eating probiotic yogurt can help improve your immune system and increase your ability to absorb calcium. Due to its healthful qualities and low-fat content, it has become an alternative late breakfast or lunch option in California
The cost is 45 cents per ounce.
Sprinkles offers 16 flavors of premium frozen yogurt including Original Tart (which started it all), Pure Vanilla, Classic Cappucino, Green Tea Tart, Irish Mist, Banana-rama, New York Cheesecake, Snickerdoodle Dandy, Berry-licious Sorbet, Krazy Kahlua, Peppermint Stick, Pistachio, and Rootbeer Float.
The "toppings bar" will has 35 choices available at all times, including fresh fruit (not frozen), natural granola, cereal, and candy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Real Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was nearing his 51st birthday when he died today.
From the age of six until 36 he enjoyed a remarka
ble career.
He brought the music video into a whole new era. Many people feel that, for better or worse, there would be no MTV today without him. He was a huge talent and his talent transcended music. Above all, he was unique.
We don't always know or understand why certain entertainers become superstars; why they enter the Pantheon of their business.
Call it chemistry. Call it being kissed by the gods. Whatever it is, he had it.
Michael Jackson was a superstar.
I can't say that I was ever a Michael Jackson fan. For whatever reason, I never connected with him or his music.
But that doesn't matter. I was in the minority.
He was a dazzling entertainer who knew how to attract and hold an audience. He was iconic.
Sadly, the real Michael Jackson was, by all accounts a tortured soul.
As a child performer he was used and abused and he remained unformed, unfinished.
He never developed a true sense of who he really was or who he ought to be.
It seems his protective mechanisms clicked in at an early age and key aspects of development were halted.
I suspect that his apparent sexual contusion simply mirrored deeper, more harrowing conflicts. I'm not sure Freud himself could figure all this out.
One also gets the sense that Jackson was lonely, wounded, misguided and estranged from his own family members.
It's unlikely that we will know the whole Michael Jackson story now.
Because, almost as if Jackson had planned all this, he will now become part of popular mythology. And as a modern myth he may become bigger than ever but at the same time less and less real.
He now enters the realm of Rudolph Valentino, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis Presley.
Now, any chance we had of really getting to know him slips away.
Maybe that's just as well. Maybe it isn't.
But that's the way it is.

Costly Toll Of Corzine

Campaign Corzine vs Governor Corzine

Campaign Corzine on the Middle Class in 2005...
"We Must Make New Jersey Affordable For Middle-Class Families."
(Jon Corzine, "The primary's over... Now the real work begins," Corzine for Governor email, 06/08/05)
Governor Corzine's Budget in 2009...
Motor Vehicle Fee Hike. With Corzine's increase in motor vehicle fees, New Jerseyans will pay an addition $20 million to the state.
Taxation of Certain Lines of Insurance. Corzine will increase taxes on accident and health insurance premiums to 1% to 1.35%. This increase will cost New Jerseyans $35.3 million.
Cuts in State aid to municipalities and counties. Corzine will cut $32.1 million in aid to towns and counties throughout New Jersey which means local taxes will be raised across our state to make up the difference.
Alcohol beverage tax increase. Corzine is going to increase taxes by 25% on liquor and wine.

Campaign Corzine on Property Taxes in 2005... "
"I Believe In Cutting Property Taxes For Senior Citizens And The Middle Class."
(Jon Corzine, "I believe," Corzine for Governor Campaign Commercial, 11/04/05) Governor Corzine's Budget in 2009...
Eliminating property tax rebates. Even with the newly discovered windfall, Governor Corzine will still eliminate Homestead Rebates and reduce direct property tax relief by $100 million.
Ending the property tax deduction. Corzine will eliminate the property tax deduction for 1.2 million New Jerseyans costing New tax payers $100 million.

Governor Corzine on Jobs in 2005...
"And most critically the hardworking people of New Jersey will have high quality jobs that enable them and their families to enjoy the high standard of living for which our state is known."
(Jon Corzine, "Ports Initiative speech," Port Elizabeth, 4/25/2005)
Governor Corzine's Budget in 2009...
Payroll Tax Hike. Governor Corzine is now going to raise payroll taxes for employers at the cost of $90 per employee, costing New Jersey business owners $400 million.
Corporation Business Tax Surcharge. Governor Corzine is going to extend the 4% surcharge through FY 2010, costing business owners $80 million.
Corporation Business Tax. Governor Corzine is going to decouple the federal tax benefit from state tax returns, costing New Jersey businesses $190 million.

All of these new taxes and fees will increase the tax burden on New Jerseyans by an astounding $1.5 Billion at a time when we can least afford it.
Save New Jersey. Dump Corzine!

Support Palin, Protect Trig!

From :
A week after a high-profile uproar with comedian David Letterman over the late-night host's joke about her daughter, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is again sharply responding to the appearance of her children in the public sphere.
Palin's latest response comes after liberal Alaskan Blogger Linda Kellen Biegel
doctored a photograph of the former Republican vice presidential candidate with her 1-year-old son Trig, who suffers from Down Syndrome.
Biegel, who blogs in support of the Alaska Democratic Party under the name "Celtic Diva," superimposed a picture of conservative Alaskan radio host Eddie Burke over Trig's face in an apparent effort to show how close the radio host is with the Alaskan governor.
"Recently we learned of a malicious desecration of a photo of the Governor and baby Trig that has become an iconic representation of a mother's love for a special needs child," Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapelton said in a statement provided to CNN. "The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling."
Stapelton also suggested President Obama should speak out against such behavior from liberal activists.
"Babies and children are off limits," She said. "It is past time to restore decency in politics and real tolerance for all Americans. The Obama Administration sets the moral compass for its party. We ask that special needs children be loved, respected and accepted and that this type of degeneracy be condemned."

Our message to Sarah Palin is simple: Keep fighting to protect your children and family.
You are correct, Governor: No double-standard. Kids are off-limits!

Just Call It DOWNTOWN!

Last night we attended the gala [re]opening of the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia DOWNTOWN.
Yes, the Crowne Plaza has rebranded.
This fine hotel at 18th and Market Sts. is no longer Crowne Plaza Center City.
Because out-of-towners don't know what "center city" means.
Because several other Philadelphia hotels also have "center city" attached to their names.
And because Crowne Plaza Downtown wants to distinguish itself from other nearby Crowne Plaza properties which also advertise as "Philadelphia."
Anyway, this newly upgraded Crowne Plaza Downtown has just finished a 1.5 million dollar modernization with refurbished and updated elevators, a new and bigger lobby and improvements to guest rooms and meeting areas.
We can tell you that the place looks great: rich and inviting with easy-on-the-eye earth tones, new carpeting and wall treatments and great lighting.
And the party was spectacular with Eddie Bruce and his Orchestra enlivening the main ballroom and plenty of food and drink including mini-burgers, grilled snapper, chicken cutlets, steamship rounds of beef, a variety of salads and cheeses and a huge dessert bar. And yes, we enjoyed the icy Grey Goose martinis.
Our thanks to General Manager Bob Cosgrove and Nina Sciemenes of the Crowne Plaza for their warm welcome.
BTW: We recently welcomed a group of guests from out-of-town and we put them up at the Crowne Plaza Downtown and they loved it. The hotel is surprisingly affordable and very accommodating. And, it's the only hotel on Market Street west of City Hall. Great location, price, hospitality.

Jobless Claims Rise Again

From Courtney Schlisserman at Bloomberg:
The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week and the total number receiving payments increased, indicating the labor market may take longer to stabilize.
Initial jobless claims rose by 15,000 to 627,000 in the week ended June 20, from a revised 612,000 the week before, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The number of people collecting unemployment insurance gained by 29,000 in the prior week, to 6.74 million. . . .

Today’s report is “just a reminder that the labor market is still in serious trouble and the unemployment rate will continue to increase into 2010,” said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While the trend in recent weeks shows a slower pace of claims, “hopes for a quick rebound in the labor market are overly optimistic.”

Debauchery Knows No Party

The media love to focus on the sexual misadventures of Republicans.
But let's remember that men (regardless of party affiliation) often think with the wrong head and ego and the aphrodisiac of power contribute to an environment where desire-induced stupidity is rampant.
So, lest you still think this is still an exclusively Republican malady, here's a quick refresher course courtesy of Human Events. And please note how Democrats often got away with their misadventures while Republicans continue to be excoriated.
And don't tell me it's really about hypocrisy. Because these Democrats lied through their teeth as well.
Here we go:
Democrat Sen. Daniel Inouye. The 82-year-old Hawaii Democrat was accused in the 1990s by numerous women of sexual harassment. Democrats cast doubt on the allegations and the Senate Ethics Committee dropped its investigation.
Former Democrat Rep. Gus Savage. The Illinois Democrat was accused of fondling a Peace Corps volunteer in 1989 while on a trip to Africa. The House Ethics Committee decided against disciplinary action in 1990.
Democrat Rep. Barney Frank. The outspoken Massachusetts Democrat hired a male prostitute who ran a prostitution service from Frank’s residence in the 1980s. Only two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to censure him in 1990.
Former Democrat Sen. Brock Adams. The late Washington Democrat was forced to stop campaigning after numerous accusations of drugging, assault and rape, the first surfacing in 1988.6
Former Democrat Rep. Fred Richmond. This New York Democrat was arrested in 1978 for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old. He remained in Congress and won re-election—before eventually resigning in 1982 after pleading guilty to tax evasion and drug possession.
Former Democrat Rep. John Young. The late Texas Democrat increased the salary of a staffer after she gave in to his sexual advances. The congressman won re-election in 1976 but lost two years later.
Former Democrat Rep. Wayne Hays. The late Ohio Democrat hired an unqualified secretary reportedly for sexual acts. Although he resigned from Congress, the Democratic House leadership stalled in removing him from the Administration Committee in 1976.
Former Democrat Rep. Gerry Studds. He was censured for sexual relationship with underage male page in 1983. Massachusetts' liberal voters returned him to office for six more terms.
Former Democrat Rep. Mel Reynolds. The Illinois Democrat was convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault with a 16-year-old. President Bill Clinton pardoned him before leaving office.
Democrat Sen. Teddy Kennedy. The liberal Massachusetts senator testified in defense of nephew accused of rape, invoking his family history to win over the jury in 1991. And, of course there was the notorious matter of that bridge at Chappaquiddick.
On top of it all, let's not forget former Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart. And then there's Jim McGreevey and John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer.
And, finally: Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
Need we say more?

Bravo, Symphony In C

On Tuesday evening we attended a wonderful performance by Symphony in C in the new Nordstrom court of the Cherry Hill Mall.
Symphony in C, formerly The Haddonfield Symphony, is one of three professional training orchestras in the United States preparing musicians and conductors who are on the cusp of world-class careers through concert, educational outreach and professional development programs. The Haddonfield Symphony began in 1952 as a community orchestra allowing amateur musicians to pursue their love of music by performing for the Haddonfield and southern New Jersey community and made its debut performance in January 1954 under Music Director Guido Terranova.
Well, this symphony orchestra has moved so far forward since those early days. But one of the biggest changes came most recently.
In the fall of 2007, The Haddonfield Symphony became Symphony in C to signal its complete transformation from a community orchestra to the only professional training orchestra in the Mid-Atlantic that provides musical performance training and career development services for musicians pursuing a career as an orchestral musician. Symphony in C has been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and strives to continue making artistic, educational, and economic impact on a regional, national and global scale.
Current Music Director Rossen Milanov who had previously served as Intern Assistant Conductor under Alan Gilbert was appointed in 2000. Milanov has led the orchestra in performances throughout southern New Jersey and in their debut at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, which led to broadcasts on WRTI’s Sunday Afternoon Concert Series, WHYY’s Sunday Showcase, and WQXR’s McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase.
In 2004, the Symphony was awarded the national MetLife Award for Community Engagement presented by the American Symphony Orchestra League in recognition of its educational outreach programs serving people with special needs.
The 2006 – 2007 season began a new era for The Symphony with the move of its entire concert series to the Gordon Theater at Rutgers – Camden Center for the Arts in Camden. The move has generated a strong new awareness for The Symphony throughout the region and has had the most significant artistic and organizational impact on the orchestra since its transformation from a community orchestra to a professional training orchestra in the early 1990’s.
The Symphony’s presence in the City of Camden affirms its commitment to participate in the cultural and economic redevelopment of Camden through the numerous performances and educational outreach programs it will continue to provide throughout the City.
After the concert a group of us gathered for dinner in the spectacular new Seasons 52 restaurant at the Mall and learned more about Symphony in C via a lovely new video.
You owe it to yourself to experience Symphony in C, a true tresure.
Find their complete 2009/10 lineup of performances by clicking here.
BTW: Our thanks to the Cherry Hill Mall, Symphony in C, Lisa Simon and the great people at the Simon Public Relations Group for making all this possible.

A Great Family Surprise

So, there I was at the wonderful grand [re]opening party for the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Downtown (more on that in another post) when a woman by the name of Carolyn Verdi came up to me, double-checked my name tag and announced that she was my relative.
She stopped me in my tracks.
I had never met her before in my life.
I looked at her closely. She didn't look like anybody I knew. She really didn't look very much like any of the Ciruccis I know.
But she told me that she is indeed a Cirucci (her maiden name) and that she knew all about me and my daughter (Aimee) because she had been reading about us online.
Then she started talking about some of my relatives. And she knew their names, their relationship to me, the names of their parents and their backgrounds.
And then she told me that her grandfather (Giuseppe Cirucci) and my grandfather (Dominick Cirucci) were brothers. Whoa!
Carolyn has been back to our ancestral home town in Italy in the Molise region. It's Riccia, near Campobasso, in the mountains.
This was a stunner. An absolute stunner.
After all these years, I meet my cousin. Carolyn lives in Philadelphia where she is a special events and wedding planner.
Carolyn's side of the family (Giuseppe's children and grandchildren) grew up in South Philadelphia. My side of the family (Dominick's children and grandchildren) grew up in South Camden. Though we were separated only by the Delaware River the two sides of the family grew apart over the years. Dominick's children (my father included) lost contact with Giuseppe's children (Carolyn's mother included). Years and years passed.
But now we are reunited, thanks to the Crowne Plaza and the serendipity of our small world.
And so a new chapter begins in the liufe of the Ciruccis.
BTW: Cirucci is not a very common name, even amongst Italians. So, if someone is of that name it's a pretty good bet we're related.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hypnosis For Gosselin Kids?

From Flash News:
Jon and Kate Gosselin can ease the pain of their public divorce on their eight kids by hypnotizing them.
According to hypnotherapist Dr. Marla Brucker, hypnosis is an effective way for people to work through their emotions and pain.
Hypnosis helps people let go of their anger and move forward, so it’s a viable option for the bitter Gosselins and their brood.
Since the kids will inevitably feel responsible for their parents’ divorce, Brucker says hypnosis will help them process that it’s not their fault.
She suggests Jon and Kate individually talk to their kids while asleep, since the “subconscious always hears the truth.”
They can whisper in their ears and explain how much they love them and rebuild their kids’ confidence by telling each one how great they are.
Though hypnosis may benefit the children, it’s more complicated for Jon and Kate.
Brucker says hypnotherapy can help them forgive one another, but can’t force them to get back together unwillingly.

Sanford Meltdown: Argentine Affair

From Cliff LeBlan and John O'Connor at South Carolina's The State:
S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford admitted today that his secret trip to Argentina over the Father's Day weekend was to visit a woman he has been having an affair with for the past year.
In an emotional news conference, Sanford said his relationship with the woman in Argentina would not work, but would not say if it was over. He did not name the woman, but said he met her eight years ago, although their casual friendship evolved into a romantic relationship about a year ago.
“The bottom line is this: I have been unfaithful to my wife,” the two-term governor said before a mass of press in the State House outside the governor’s office. “Let me apologize to my wife Jenny and my four boys ... for letting them down.”
Asked directly if he and first lady Jenny Sanford are separated, Sanford said: “I don't know how you want to define that. I’m here and she's there. I guess in a formal sense we are not.”
Sanford acknowledged he misled his staff earlier this week when he led them to believe he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Sanford said he would resign as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association — a platform he has used over the past few months to broadcast his opposition to President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package and fueling speculation that Sanford was considering a 2012 run for president.
But Sanford did not respond when asked if he would resign as governor.
Sanford fought back tears several times during a 20 minute news conference, especially when he mentioned his marriage counselor and his long time personal and political friend Tom Davis, Sanford’s former chief of staff.
Sanford’s relationship with the woman in Argentina became more sexually charged about a year ago, but Sanford’s wife did not learn of the affair until about five month sago. The Sanfords have since been in counseling.
In his apology, Sanford acknowledged not only all South Carolinians, but people of faith, people in his own party as well as his family.
He denied he had ever had other extramarital affairs.
“I’ve spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina,” Sanford said. “I am committed to trying to get my heart right.”

I love South Carolina and South Carolinians.
South Carolina is my adopted home state and I will be there again soon.
But I've never been a big fan of Governor Mark Sanford and that's why you've never seen me mention him on these pages.
I've never been very impressed with him.
I'm quite instinctive about people and there was just something about Sanford that didn't appeal to me. I look for authenticity in people and Sanford never seemed to "do it" for me.
I never took him seriously as a possible '12 presidential candidates.
So, I don't feel that this is any great loss; no loss at all, really.
When all is said and done; when other possible candidates fall away and the dust settles, one GOP leader will stand head and shoulders above the rest as we approach 2012.
His name is Mitt Romney. And I do feel very good about him.