Monday, January 31, 2011

Coulter: If Individual Mandate Stands, GOP House Should Force Everybody To Buy A Gun

This is a really interesting perspective on why Obamacare's individual mandate is unconstitutional...

From Ann Coulter:

"By the way, if this is constitutional, Republicans should turn around and mandate all citizens be forced to purchase a gun. And a Bible. There's a lot more evidence that owning a gun and a Bible is better for society than everyone having to own health insurance."

Find the video here.

Christie Vetoes AC Convention Authority Minutes

With legislation pending that would transfer the functions of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) to the Casino Reinvestment and Development Authority (CRDA), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today vetoed numerous resolutions of the ACCVA, including its 2011 operations and marketing budgets.
“In light of this legislation currently before me for consideration, and my desire not to foreclose any options for the future of Atlantic City, I am compelled to veto the above resolutions which affect the operating, budgeting and finances of the ACCVA,” Governor Christie wrote in his veto letter, signed today, to Jeffrey S. Vasser, the ACCVA executive director.
The Governor vetoed the following resolutions reflected in the minutes of the ACCVA’s December 15, meeting:

• 2011 Destination Marketing Organization Budget

• 2011 Operations Budget

• 2011 Consolidated Capital Plan

• Solar Purchase Agreement, West Hall, and

• Renewal of Intergovernmental Agreement with the Atlantic City Special Improvement District to Install, Remove and Store Banners.

The Governor noted in his veto letter that two bills (S-11 and A-3581) have passed in the legislature and direct the establishment of the Atlantic City Tourism District, broaden the powers and duties of the CRDA and transfers ACCVA and its functions to the CRDA. Both pieces of legislation await action by Governor Christie.

Bullying Incident Triggers Student Arrests

They bullied a fellow student.
Then, they took him to a nearby apartment complex where they punched and kicked him.
Then they hung him upside down on a tree.
That's what authorities are reportedly alleging in the case against seven Upper Darby (PA.) high school students, ages 13 to 17 who were escorted off school grounds by township police today.
Police say the suspects actually kidnapped the male student when he was walking home from middle school last week, and then, according to police they allegedly carried out their deeds for about thirty minutes before leaving the victim hanging on a fence post.
Police say the suspects recorded the incident on tape.  The unidentified suspects face charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault.
Click here for more on this story.

Couric, Gumbel Ask: "What's 'The Internet'"?

My, my . . . how times have changed!

Man Arrested: Viewed Porn At McDonald's Playland

In Trexlertown, PA a man has been arrested for viewing pornography at a McDonald's Playland.
The man is facing disorderly conduct charges after police say he was viewing pornographic material while at the Playland.
The 53-year-old man was allegedly viewing the material on his laptop on Sunday afternoon.
Police say children were in the Playland at the time.
Click here for more on this story.

Cops Break Up Church Brawl

A brawl in a church? Believe it.
A dispute over leadership at a church in western North Carolina apparently turned from angry words to fist fights with an all-out brawl.
Reports say that about 30 police officers from five agencies were called to break up fights Sunday at the Greater New Zion Baptist Church about 94 miles outside of Charlotte.
Authorities say the brawl is under investigation.
Click here to read the full story.

Maine: The Newest Red Republican Outpost

Some of you may recall our dispatches from Maine last October.
Well, a lot has changed since our visit. Because now, downeast is red.
Red -- as in Republican.
And GOP mastermind Charlie Webster is being called the Karl Rove of Maine.
From a story in The Weekly Standard:
For the first time since 1964, Maine Republicans captured the governorship, the senate, and the house​—​a trifecta made possible, boasts GOP mastermind Charlie Webster as he chews on his ham and cheese omelet, because “we represent the working people” and were able to convince voters of this.
Click here to read more about this astonishing transformation.

Liberals Chastise Obama On Egypt Policy

The liberal New Republic has not-so-kind words for President Obama and his policies and actions so far in response to the crisis in Egypt. In fact, NR seems to almost long for a return to the George W. Bush policy of democratization.
The magazine's Leon Wieseltier writes:
The bizarre irony of Obama’s global multiculturalism is that it has had the effect of aligning America with regimes and against peoples. This was the case with our response to the Iranian rebellion in 2009, and it was the case with our response to the Egyptian opposition until a few hours ago. The striking thing about Barack Obama’s “extended hand” is how utterly irrelevant it is to the epochal events in Egypt, and Tunisia, and Iran, and elsewhere.  
Click here to read the full article.

PA. Abortion Tragedy: A State Of Neglect

In a fine editorial, the Harrisburg Patriot News notes that "the details in a grand jury report about Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell are difficult to read."
Gosnell ran the notorious abortion clinic where prosecutors say that at least two women died and hundreds of babies were killed with scissors stabbed into their spines.
From the report: “Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service provides. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.” 
Click here to read the entire editorial.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Top Ten Reagan Quotes: A Centennial Special

Ronald Reagan said lots of things worth remembering.
But these have often been called the Top Ten Reagan Quotes of all time.
They reflect his humanity, his quick wit, his most deeply held beliefs and his steadfastness. Here they are:

10. "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."  
—Remarks at a business conference, Los Angeles, March 2, 1977

9. "You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans."—The Observer, March 29, 1981

8. “Thomas Jefferson once said, "We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying."  
—Circa 1988

7. "I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting." 
—Said often during his presidency, 1981-1989

6. "How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."  
—Remarks in Arlington, Virginia, September 25, 1987

5. "The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."  
—Remarks to the White House Conference on Small Business, August 15, 1986

4. “I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” 
—Said often during his presidency, 1981-1989

3. "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." 
—Farewell Address to the Nation, The White House, January 11, 1989

2. "I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."  
—The New York Times, September 22, 1980

1. "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." 
— First Inaugural Address, January 21, 1981

Video: A Priceless Leslie Nielsen Moment

No words are needed here -- just watch (and LISTEN) closely.

Democrats Charged With Massive Voter Fraud

Fox News is reporting that "two Democratic politicians in an upstate New York city have been charged in a "massive" voter fraud case first reported a year ago on Fox."
According to the latest report: "A 59-page, 116-count indictment charges Troy Democratic City Councilman Michael LoPorto and Edward McDonough, Democratic Commissioner of the Rensselaer County Board of Elections, with forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument."
Click here for more from Fox News.

One Of The Most Memorable Movie Scenes Ever

 Jack just wanting his toast ranks as an unforgettable movie moment -- from "Five Easy Pieces."

When Death Becomes A Spectacle . . .

We’ve all heard it said that death does wonders for your career.
The saying has its origins in show business.
And it’s true.
When actors or performers or famous people die there is usually a sudden surge of interest in their work. 
And this is especially true when they die young and/or tragically. Then, they can achieve certain box office immortality.
In show business, death has always been big business.
But now death and calamity and tragedy have themselves become an ongoing spectacle.
Yes, as strange as it may seem death is now a show.
I thought of this as I watched the huge memorial service broadcast from the McKale Center on the campus of the University of Arizona for victims of the Tucson shootings.
The whole scene took on the atmosphere of a pep-rally. Incredibly, the event had its own colors, its own logo, its own slogan (“Together We Thrive”) and even its own commemorative t-shirts. It was branded, just like a product or a service or a superstar mega-event.
And what bigger attraction is there than a sleek, young, handsome, eloquent President who has himself been called a rock star?
Of course, we’ve seen this before at similar marquee memorial events – most notably the memorial service for the late, so-called King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
But it doesn’t even seem to matter anymore whether or not the deceased was well known. There will be a show.
We want a show. That’s what we’ve come to expect.
Still, it wasn’t always like this.
Once upon a time memorial services were quiet and solemn and seriously reflective.
Now, what used to be called wakes are deemed “life celebrations” and they come complete with full-fledged collections of the flotsam and jetsam of a person’s life -- snapshots, posters, books, videos, sound recordings, wardrobe items, hand-written notes, letters, e-mails, ephemera and other assorted stuff.
It’s almost like we’re not allowed to be truly sorrowful anymore. Our sorrow must now be cloaked in celebration, or at the least in sweet sentiment. Whatever reflections we have must be directed toward a person’s life on earth rather than on anything that might lie beyond.
We just don’t seem to want to deal with the deeper spiritual meaning of death. Maybe it’s because so many of us have rejected a traditional spiritual component in our own lives. And, since life cannot be separated from death, lives devoid of spirituality lead to deaths that are trapped in a sort of temporal vacuum.
So, we are left to fall back on t-shirts, slogans, makeshift memorials and trivial bromides.
In some ways, this is not only an insult to the dead and their families but a stark and chilling reflection of the emptiness of modern life.
Furthermore, in the face of death at the hands of a violent criminal, we are now loath to express anger or speak of retribution. Instead, we must envelop ourselves in the balm of understanding and compassion just as we dare not speak of evil.
Of all the public statements released in the wake of this most recent tragedy, only two were noteworthy for addressing evil and its just consequences. The first was from former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who promptly spoke of good and evil and looked forward to “the swift and harsh punishment that awaits the perpetrator of this cowardly attack.” The other was from Sarah Palin who called the perpetrator “an evil man” who took the lives of “peaceful citizens.”   She added: “America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed.”
But I fear we have become too rooted in the amorality of the here and now and too hopelessly self-absorbed to heed those words and find that added strength.
As the great historian Daniel J. Boorstin noted: “As individuals and as a nation, we now suffer from social narcissism. The beloved Echo of our ancestors, the virgin America, has been abandoned. We have fallen in love with our own image, with images of our making, which turn out to be images of ourselves.”
The lesson is clear: In the end, we cannot survive adversity and we cannot thrive (whether alone or together) until we look beyond ourselves.
Note: Much of the above appeared in the Courier-Post newspaper on January 23, 2010.

Video: Tracy Morgan Calls Palin 'Masturbation Material'

Shame on Tracy Morgan for saying it and shame on TNT for airing it.
Funny, we heard virtually no complaints from the left-leaning mainstream media about "lack of civility" after this aired. Nothing. Nada.
Apparently, when you're talking about a leading conservative you can trash him or her any way you want. So long as you're running down someone on the right, it seems civility doesn't matter one bit.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Peggy Noonan: Obama SOTUS Was 'Flat, Mushy'

Peggy Noonan is out with a great column about Obama's State of the Union speech.
Peggy had hoped the speech would soar. She was cheering for Obama to succeed. She really wanted a great, inspiring speech -- a genuine game-changer.
She didn't get it and she's disappointed. Here's part of what she has to say:
The State of the Union speech was not centrist, as it should have been, but merely mushy, and barely relevant. It wasted a perfectly good analogy—America is in a Sputnik moment—by following it with narrow, redundant and essentially meaningless initiatives. Rhetorically the speech lay there like a lox, as if the document itself knew it was dishonest, felt embarrassed, and wanted to curl up quietly in a corner of the podium and hide. But the president insisted on reading it. . . .
 As for small things and grace notes, there is often about the president an air of delivering a sincere lecture in which he informs us of things that seem new to him but are old to everyone else. He has a tendency to present banalities as if they were discoveries. "American innovation" is important. As many as "a quarter of our students aren't even finishing high school." We're falling behind in math and science: "Think about it."
Yes, well, all we've done is think about it.
Click here to read Noonan's entire analysis of the speech. It's worth reading!

Ohhhhhh, Those Villanova Basketball Fans!

Villanova beats Syracuse, GameWatch, Jan 22, Main St. Pub, Vorhees, NJ. Thanks to Joanne Cicione Savio for sending this along to us.
What a great-looking group of Wildcats. Go, NOVA!

Larry The Cable Guy: New Show Begins Feb. 8

Tag along with Larry as he goes on a one-of-a-kind tour of the U.S. Coming February on The History Channel.

GEICO's R. Lee Ermey Rips Obama on Stage

You probably recognize this guy from those GEICO commercials.
He's not one to mince words.

OabamCare To Tax Home Sales At 3.8%!

“I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes,”
President Obama, September 12, 2008

Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income.
In February 2010, 5.02 million homes were sold, according to the National Association of Realtors.  On any given day, the sale of a house, townhome, condominium, co-op, or income from a rental property can push middle-income families over the $250,000 threshold and slam them with a new tax they can’t afford.   
This new ObamaCare tax is the first time the government will apply a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income. 
This new tax on home sales and unearned income and other Medicare taxes raise taxes more than $210 billion to pay for ObamaCare.  
The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income “destructive” and “ill-advised” and warned it would hurt job creation.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photo: Governor And Lover On Secluded Beach

Just a few days after leaving exiting as the governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford was in Uruguay for a romantic sojourn with his Argentine main squeeze, Maria Belen Chapur.
Sanford was snagged in an extramarital affair with Maria while in office. At the time, he claimed to be hiking the Appalachian Trail. In February 2010 he and his wife divorced.
Photos of the couple on the beach in Punte del Este were published in Argentine magazine.

ALERT: Dangers Of Using A Snow Blower

If you're using a snow blower these days, you're well-advised to take precautions.
Here's part of a story from The Record of North Jersey:

Dozens of North Jersey residents were injured in weather-related mishaps Thursday, including three men who underwent hand surgery at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson for serious snowblower accidents, officials said.
Richie Schlussel, of Englewood, clearing his driveway on Walnut Street using a snowblower. Experts are urging caution using the machines after treating several patients for hand injuries following Thursday's storm.
In all, nine people were treated at local hospitals for injuries sustained while trying to unclog snowblowers. Dr. Mark Rosenberg, chairman of emergency medicine at St. Joseph’s, blamed the heavy, wet snow for clogging the chutes of the machines and urged people to take precautions.
“The word to everybody is never put your hands or body parts anywhere near the snowblower chute,” Rosenberg said. “It can lead to devastating injuries.” Instead, machines usually come with a pole or wand that people can use to unclog a snowblower, Rosenberg said.
Click here to read the full story.

Photo: Inside The Demolition Of Philly's Famed Spectrum

Comcast-Spectacor Vice President of Public Relations Ike Richman sends us this exclusive look from inside Philadelphia's famed Spectrum arena as it is demolished.
The days are dwindling down not to a precious few.
So many championship events. So many concerts. So much spectacle. So many memories.
Order a souvenir brick for $39.95 at Once demolition is completed, the site will become Philly Live, a new retail, restaurant and entertainment complex.

Kyrillos Named 'State Senator Of The Year'

New Jersey State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth) has been named "State Senator of the Year" by BIO-NJ. The group is the New Jersey Chapter of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the industry leading advocacy and support group.
"As the Medicine Chest of the World, New Jersey's economy is intimately tied to a thriving biotech industry," said Senator Kyrillos. "It is a point of pride for all New Jerseyans that life saving innovations happen right here in our great state, and it is incumbent upon policymakers to do everything we can to nurture and encourage this industry. I'm honored to receive this award."
Senator Kyrillos was honored at BIO-NJ's Annual Dinner Meeting last night.

Reagan's Remarks: 25 Years Ago Today

Broadcast at 5 p.m. EST, Jan. 28, 1986.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering.

Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.

Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute.

We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.

I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."

There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and an historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

Bulletin: More Snow On The Way!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Naked Bike Riders Attract Many Views

Here are our most popular recent stories. Click on and of them (including the naked bike ride photos) to see what all the excitement is about.
Jan 24, 2011, 1 comment
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A Cogent Question For President Obama . . .

As part of Your Interview With the President, one of our former students, Ed Boyd has posed an important question for President Obama.
So now we're wondering: Will the President answer?
Click here at 2:30 PM to find out if the President answers this question.

Kean: NJ Corporate Tax Reduction Will Create Jobs

New Jersey State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) said today that all legislators concerned about job creation should support a broad based reduction in the corporate tax rate as recently proposed by Governor Christie. Kean stated that New Jersey's large corporate tax burden is the chief impediment to sustainable, permanent job creation:
"A corporate tax rate of 9% practically shows the door to employers and the jobs they sustain and create," said Senator Kean. "One need only look to the closing of Sony's Pitman plant to understand the consequences our state faces should we fail to act. 300 people in South Jersey employed by that facility are set to lose their livelihoods because it is cheaper to do the work in Indiana. A fact of life in this challenging economy is that job creators will move to the lowest cost environment. If New Jersey chooses not to compete, we will continue to lose jobs and talented citizens to other states."
Governor Christie said he will propose a reduction in the corporate tax rate as part of his annual budget address during a recent interview with CNBC.
Sony announced earlier this month that it will close, rather than reduce its workforce at, its South Jersey manufacturing plant. The Pitman factory's operations will be transferred to a facility in Terra Haute, Indiana- citing cost concerns. Indiana's corporate tax rate is 8.5%.
Kean said that small, targeted tax incentives do not go far enough in spurring job creation at a time of record unemployment. "With all due respect to the Majority, we cannot afford to think small any longer," Kean continued. "When over nine percent of New Jersey workers cannot find a job, the problem is greater than what can be solved by tinkering around the edges with half measures. The business tax levy is the most significant factor for employers in determining whether they will stay here or go elsewhere. It is time New Jersey get in the game, make our tax rate more business friendly, and compete for those jobs."

World's Ten Greatest (Educated) Puns

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The.police are looking into it

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Perfect For A Day Like Today

Obama Evokes Space Age While Gutting NASA

Leave it to Ann Coulter to have the ultimate zingy take on Obama's SOTUS. Here's part of what she has to say:
"Obama compared 'investing' in education to our sending a man to the moon after the Russians launched Sputnik. Say, who was the president who recently gutted spending on NASA? Oh yes, that was Obama. So he reminded us of the glory days of the space program, but now he's taking that money and funneling it to public school teachers."
Click here to read Coulter's entire column.

Snow Produces Northeast Winter Wonderland

This is the way it looks just outside the window right now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Romney Reacts To Obama SOTUS

Mitt Romney's reaction to President Obama's remarks last night:
“President Obama knows where he wants to go, but he has no idea how to get there. Under President Obama's economic leadership, more Americans have lost their jobs than any time in modern history. The on-the-job economic education of the President has cost American families almost a trillion dollars in failed stimulus schemes and, unfortunately, he's still failing the course.
"Rhetoric, however soaring, does not put pay checks in pay envelopes at the end of the week. You can't build a high speed rail system fast enough to outrun the President's misguided regulations, higher taxes or lack of focus on jobs. Hopefully he is learning. American families are depending on him."
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

SOTU Aftermath - Obama Isn't Going to Work With Republicans

Conservative talk show host and author Mark Levin offered an interesting viewpoint about Obama's State of the Union: despite the rhetoric, NOTHING has changed...

President Obama’s foot remains where it has been since the day he entered the Oval Office, on the gas pedal. He’s not braking for anyone or anything.

All this pre-SOTU spin from Obama’s whisperers, gobbled up by the Obama-hungry media, was always nonsense. Obama has no intention of touching entitlements in any significant way, period.

Why would he tamper with the New Deal and Great Society when he considers them a good start but insufficiently bold to advance his statist beliefs? Obama has no intention of honestly working with Republicans on health care, cap-and-trade, etc.

These are hallmarks of his transformative agenda. They define him and his presidency. His bureaucracy is working overtime to institute them.

It amazes me that some usually thoughtful people seize on anything they can find to argue, or hope, that Obama has been chastened by the last election. For weeks they’ve pointed to the tax deal as evidence of his “pivoting.”

Actually, what Obama did is tee-up the tax fight for a time when he believes his class warfare demagoguery can be best employed — during the final weeks of his re-election bid. He already started it last night.

Find the rest of Mark's piece here.

Christie Signs New Bills Into Law

Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the following bills into law:

· S-725/A-3478 (Sacco, Ciesla/Wisniewski, Coughlin) – Concerns lost or stolen E-ZPass transponders

· S-1431/A-2781 (Scutari, Whelan/Ramos, Coughlin, Mainor) – Requires all wireless telephones and electronic communication devices issued by public entities to be activated to receive Amber Alerts

· S-1446/A-2915 (Cardinale, Girgenti/Johnson, Coughlin, Wilson) – Authorizes display of flashing amber warning lights on sanitation vehicles

· S-2315/A-2934 (Girgenti, Bateman/Scalera, Burzichelli) – Establishes State Public Safety Interoperable Communications Coordinating Council

· A-407/S-732 (Diegnan, Casagrande, Rodriquez, Coughlin/Sacco, Stack) – Prohibits use of wireless telephones or electronic communication devices by operators of public transit vehicles in certain situations

· A-1570/S-2319 (Scalera, Chivukula, Lampitt, Evans/Ruiz) – Requires New Jersey institutions of higher education to disseminate fire safety information about their facilities to students, parents or guardians, and employees

· A-2844/S-2022 (Lampitt, Moriarty, Greenstein, Milam, Albano/Madden) – Requires DCA to post on its website the current adopted budget of any county or municipality that does not maintain its own website; also requires posting of three immediately preceding adopted budgets

Report: No Obama Birth Certificate In Hawaii

This radio report from Mike Evans was broadcast at KQRS FM radio 92, a classic rock station in Minnesota.
Mike Evans is a reporter who produces and delivers a nationally-syndicated radio feature heard daily in many radio markets. He is the voice that you hear relating his conversation with his "friend," Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie.
Evans has had a long career in radio, including in Hawaii which he describes as the "only place I have ever called 'home'".  He has also been the West Coast Sports and Entertainment Editor for the New York Post.
We make no judgment here on the accuracy of the report. We merely pass it along for your information.

Live Naked Dancers In Atlantic City Casino Shows?

Topless and nudity are strictly prohibited in Atlantic City casino shows under New Jersey state regulations.
But now some people think such regulations ought to be loosened.
Already, Atlantic City casino stage shows feature scantily clad bodies is sexy performances that are all-but-nude.
And some casino execs and show producers seem to feel it may be time to push the envelope a bit further.
The question they're facing is this: Can Atlantic City really make it as a family destination or should the city simply position itself as an adult playground more like Las Vegas?
The resort needs to make a decision if it is to survive new competition from an increasing number of neighboring gambling venues.It can't necessarily be all things to all people.
One show producer says Atlantic City should consider going nude
“I just think it’s something that should be looked at. We’re not Vegas, but we are a helluva lot closer to Vegas than any place else, and we should be the Vegas of the East Coast. I think that should be embraced in the state level,” he told The Press of Atlantic City.
Click here to read more.

112-Year-Old Woman Survived It All

Elizabeth Buhler died on Sunday at a nursing home in Canada.
She was 111, and about to turn 112 on Feb. 8.
Born in 1899, she  lived a life that spanned three different centuries, two separate continents, a Russian Revolution, a Great Depression and two World Wars.
She took her last breath as the oldest living person in Canada.
Click here to read more on this extraordinary story from the National Post of a life well lived.

World's Ten Most Famous Movie Locations

Ever wonder what are the world's ten most famous movie locations?
The Eiffel Tower? The Statue of Liberty? The canals of Venice? Big Ben in London? How about Times Square?
The list of possibilities seems endless. One can think of exotic locations like Morocco or glamorous locations like Monaco or iconic locations like Mt. Rushmore or the pyramids. And then there are always seaside locations like Hawaii or Mexico or the Caribbean.
But what if I told you that one of the top locations was in Philadelphia. Yes, Philadelphia.
And I'm not talking about the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall, either.
Every year, tens of thousands of residents and visitors make their way to the iconic Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to recreate and pay homage to Rocky’s famous run. No matter the weather, not a day goes by without more than a few people climbing those steps a la Rocky.
It’s actually amazing to think about just how many people visit the Art Museum steps to check out the statue, run up the steps, and admire the view from the top.
And now there’s a new Top 10 list that makes you realize just how famous the Rocky Steps really are. In fact, after Grand Central Station in Manhattan, the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are the most famous movie location in the world according to Screen Junkies, a TV and movie site published by Break Media, which has just published their ranking of the 10 most famous movie locations in the entire world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Rocky Steps are #2.
The image of Rocky Balboa running up his now eponymous steps is definitely iconic in cinematic history. The film’s sequels, “Rocky 2” “Rocky 3” and “Rocky Balboa,” used the same location.
Making the trip up the steps, which lead up to the East Entrance of the museum, is regarded in Rocky’s honor as a symbol of perseverance and determination.
Once you reach the top, your reward is gratifying: a breathtaking view of the scenic Center City Philadelphia skyline.
10 Most Famous Movie Locations [Screen Junkies]
Photo: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Home Prices Declining -- AGAIN!

"November home prices continued their latest slump, falling 1% compared with October, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 metro markets."
That's the word from CNN Money, noting that the continuing decline has befuddled some analysts.
According to the latest report, this newest downturn put prices 1.6% lower than 12 months ago, slightly worse than industry expectations.
Things are really bad in Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Portland, Ore., Seattle and Tampa, Fla. All of these markets are at their lowest levels since they peaked during the boom.
Click here to read more.

New: Public Restrooms Get Mirror Ads

Advertising Mirror developed and patented by MIRRUS that captures and stores every consumer engagement.

Runyan To Obama: Cut Taxes, Shrink Government

New Jersey Congressman Jon Runyan reacts to President Obama's State of the Union speech:
"The only way to fix our economy and create jobs is to cut taxes, reduce spending and shrink the size of government. While I agree with President Obama's call for bipartisan cooperation and applaud his desire to build a better future for our children, I don't think he went far enoug...h when it comes to demanding that we live within our means. We can do better."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Obama Tries to Rally the Troops, But...

Obama's ability as a speaker has always been formidable. He's really, really good at it. But while the message was trying to be positive, inspiring and upbeat, some things stuck in my mind...

Obama stressed "investment" (aka more spending) in education, technology and infrastructure. He wants to help create more jobs for scientists, teachers and construction workers. What about the folks in-between? If you're not a teacher, or part of road crew, where do you stand?

He mentioned that it's now "our time to sacrifice." Aren't we already doing that now? How many people have had to cut back on their American Dream? How many are still looking for work?

What ideas does Obama have to consolidate Federal Government? Can't wait to see this...

And why were TV analysts asking if this was Obama's "Reagan Moment?" He's got a LONG way, before he holds a candle to the "Great Communicator."

It was an attempt to spin the positive, but I guess we'll see soon enough if Obama's "Sputnik Speech" will maintain it's orbit or come crashing to Earth.

Ryan Speaks Eloquently, Charts Common-Sense Path

From the remarks of Congressman Paul Ryan tonight:

"When government takes on too many tasks it usually doesn't do any of them very well." 

"Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies - an 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus.
All of this new government spending was sold as 'investment.' Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9% and government has added over $3 t...rillion to our debt." 

"We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency." 

"Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise - but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals."

"It's no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high."

Christie Launches Pro NJ Business Ad Campaign

The Christie Administration today announced the launch of a new advertising campaign asking businesses to relocate and invest in New Jersey. The ad campaign, which targets Illinois, comes on the heels of news that Illinois enacted a 67% increase in income tax rates and a 46% percent increase in corporate tax rates. The print and radio ads reiterate Governor Christie’s commitment not to raise taxes and makes clear that New Jersey is on the path to economic growth with stable, job-friendly policies.
The advertisements will begin running this week in key Illinois markets and business publications, including: the Chicago Tribune; the Springfield Journal; the Wall Street Journal, Chicago; and, Crain’s Chicago Business. The ad campaign follows a 553 letter personal appeal from Lt. Governor Guadagno sent to Fortune 500 companies and large/midsized business currently headquartered in Illinois that would be effected by the new tax increase.
“While state governments across the nation grapple with the budgetary problems caused by unsustainable levels of spending and weakened revenue sources, some misguided governments are looking to wring even more tax dollars from businesses and families. The job creators of our country are mobile, and they are looking for a climate that provides the certainty and stability that comes with a fiscally responsible government that manages its budgets accordingly,” said Governor Chris Christie.
“In New Jersey, we mean business. We’ve said ‘enough is enough’ and made the tough choices to cut spending. By providing a positive, pro-growth climate we are making it easier for businesses to Choose New Jersey and welcoming jobs and economic growth for our residents with open arms.”
Governor Christie has made economic growth and a friendlier business climate a top priority. Through the New Jersey Partnership for Action Christie Administration has implemented an aggressive economic development agenda, including overhauling state government's regulatory system and reducing the red tape that stifles economic growth and imposes costs on businesses and citizens.
After 115 tax and fee increases over the last 8 years, Governor Christie is breaking the pattern of higher taxes, increased spending and shortsighted economic policy that has plagued Trenton for decades. Governor Christie closed back-to-back budget shortfalls, amounting to tens of billions of dollars, without raising taxes. He rejected an attempt by the legislature to increase taxes on small businesses and individuals by $637 million. He sunset the corporate business tax surcharge, put a hard, two-percent cap on property taxes and protected businesses from an average $400 per employee, or 52%, increase in the unemployment insurance payroll tax.
The audio file can be accessed by clicking HERE.

So Much New, So Much To Do, In Philly!

Click here for more information on visiting Philadelphia.

Full 2011 Oscar Nominations List

Here is the list of the 2011 Oscar nominations announced this morning:

Best Picture
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The Kids Are All Right ”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“Toy Story 3″
“True Grit”
“Winter’s Bone”

Best Direction
Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan”
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”
David Fincher for “The Social Network”
Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”
David O. Russell for “The Fighter”

Best Actor
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
James Franco in “127 Hours”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”

Best Actress
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“The Illusionist”
“Toy Story 3″

The King's Speech Leads 2011 Oscar Field

“The King's Speech,” a British drama detailing the efforts of 1940s British monarch King George VI to overcome a persistent stammer, lead the 2011 Oscar field with 12 nominations. “True Grit,” the old west remake about a young girl's brave quest to track down her father's killer, followed with 10 nominations.
The sci-fi thriller “Inception” and the Facebook drama “The Social Network” received eight nominations each.

2011 Oscar Nominations - More Nominees!

Best actor nominees include James Franco, Colin Firth and Javier Bardem.
Best actress nominees include Annette Bening (”The Kids Are All Right”), Michelle Williams (”Blue Valentine”), Nicole Kidman (”Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (”Winter’s Bone”), and Portman (”Black Swan”).
Best supporting actress nominees include Amy Adams (”The Fighter”), Helena Bonham Carter (”The King’s Speech”), Melissa Leo (”The Fighter”), Hailee Steinfeld (”True Grit”) and Jacki Weaver (”Animal Kingdom).
Best supporting actor nominees include Christian Bale (”The Fighter”), John Hawkes (”Winter’s Bone”), Mark Ruffalo (”The Kids Are All Right”), Geoffrey Rush (”The King’s Speech”) and Jeremy Renner (”The Town”).

Oscar 2011 'Best Picture' Nominees Announced

The Oscar nominations have just been announced for Best Picture of the Year and there are really no big surprises.
The nominees are The King's Speech, The Black Swan, The Social Network, The Kids Are All Right, True Grit, Toy Story 3, Winter's Bone, 127 Hours, Inception and The Fighter.
At this point, The Social Network must be considered the favorite.

Alec Baldwin: Big Fat Tax Cheat?

Is Alec Baldwin a tax cheat?
New York city's department of revenue believes that he may be.
The actor and liberal activist who's all too happy to have government take more of your tax dollars may actually be holding back on some of his. And the proponent of a bigger government nanny state may be resisting his own participation in and support of such a state.
It smacks of the same old limousine liberal mentality: "Do as I say, not as I do. You have to play by the rules -- rules that I make up. But I don't have to play by them."
The New York Post says that authorities seem to suspect Balwdin may actually be living in New York City while claiming residency somewhere else.
Here's part of the story:
Actor Alec Baldwin has joined a list of elite New Yorkers targeted by tax collectors who think they're fibbing about where they really live to dodge New York City income taxes.. . .
Facing shrinking revenues, the state has ramped up its pursuit of suspected tax dodgers, hiring 189 new auditors and - for the first time - making filers swear under oath on tax forms as to how many days they "spend in New York City."
If it's more than 183 days and the filer has a residence in the city, the tax bill goes up.
Baldwin, star of NBC's "30 Rock" owns a three-bedroom co-op on Central Park West, a house in the Hamptons and a pad near his daughter in Los Angeles.
He spends lots of time in the city doing the show, but claims the Hamptons as home base. That made him one of hundreds of people slapped with an audit in 2009.
Click here to read more.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Christie: The Courage To Take A Stand, And Mean It

"You will know that you have someone sitting in that office who understands this issue, 
who appreciates it. 
You have today and you have for the rest of 
my life an ally."
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie 
NJ Rally for Life 

New Museum Accepting Founding Members

While the new National Museum of American Jewish History  (NMAJH) in Philadelphia has now officially been open for two months, the opportunity to become a Founding Member is still available.Founding Memberships may be purchased for you or others with a gift of $54. 
Founding Members who make a gift of $180 or more will receive the two-DVD set of "The Jewish Americans," the PBS documentary from Emmy-winning director David Grubin, who made a number of new films for the Museum's core exhibition. 
Founding Members will also have unlimited opportunities to visit NMAJH throughout the 12-month membership term. The names of all Founding Members are also permanently listed in an interactive database in the Museum.
For information on the Museum's fundraising activities, including named-gift opportunities, contact Irv Hurwitz, the Museum's director of institutional advancement, at 215.923.3811 x 133 or via email at ihurwitz@nmajh.or
To sign up as a Founding Member today, visit

Seems Lang Lang Dissed America At White House

That big, expensive, elaborate, red-carpet State Dinner that the Obama's gave for the President of China continues to produce fallout.
Now it seems that Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang  may have dissed America as he tickled the ivories in the East Room.
Here's a portion of a revealing report from the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Lang was invited to perform along with a number of U.S. jazz musicians. . . . [After] Mr. Lang said it was a “great honor” to be playing, he proceeded to perform a solo piece, which he introduced as a “Chinese song called ‘My Motherland.’”
As Chinese netizens have pointed out, “My Motherland” is the theme song for a famous anti-U.S. movie about the Korean War from 1956, titled “Battle on Shangganling Mountain.”
The performance has set the Chinese web abuzz—and more than a few people are convinced it wasn’t an accident.
Both the Sina and Sohu news portals reposted an article that they attributed to the Beijing Evening News, with the headline: “Lang Lang Played ‘My Motherland’ at White House, Flaunting National Power.”
“Those American folks very much enjoyed it and were totally infatuated with the melody!!! The U.S. is truly stupid!!” wrote a user named You’re In My Memory on Sina’s micro-blogging site.
Click here to read more.

Baby-Boomers: Tired, Tiresome And Self-Absorbed

Gannett columnist Chuck Raasch is out with some keen observations on the Baby Boomer generation, now headed into its dotage:
As a smack-dab-in-the-middle member of the boomer generation, I have license to make these declarations. After all, even though we are not even the biggest generation any more -- the millennials born between 1982-2003 outnumber boomers -- we will always believe that we are first in everything. First to fight an unpopular war, to challenge authority, to have children, to work hard, to be creative, to desire wealth, to deal with aging parents and now, to get old ourselves.
Click here to read the entire column.

Christie To Attend Pro-Life Rally Today

Bravo to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who will attend a Pro-Life rally today at noon on the steps of the State Capitol in Trenton.
The rally is hosted by New Jersey Right to Life, the state's largest pro-life group.
The rally marks the anniversary of United States Supreme Court's Roe V. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973.
Some politicians say they are "pro-life" but they don't really do anything about it. They talk the talk but they don't walk the walk. And when pro-life events or rallies are held, they "phone-in" their support.
But not Chris Christie.
Governor Christie is a man of his word -- and he is not one to mince words.
The Governor has never apologized for his core beliefs nor has he backed away from them.
Thank you, Governor Christie for keeping your word and being there when we need you.

Obama Birth Certificate Mystery Unraveled?

Why won't President Obama allow the State of Hawaii to release his original birth certificate?
Many believe that Obama has simply decided to be stubborn and not give in to birthers.
But Tag in Kaanapali, Maui and the web site Hill Buzz have a different theory.
Here's how it goes:

* Obama was indeed born in Hawaii in 1961
* Obama was indeed adopted by Lolo Soetoro in the 1970s
* Obama’s name was indeed changed to Barry Soetoro in the 1970s
* Obama’s birth certificate was altered per Hawaiian law to reflect his new name in the 1970s
* Obama never changed his name back to “Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.” — most likely because he used “Barry Soetoro” on all of his student aid applications for college, and probably received foreign student grants and admissions assistance playing off his years living in Indonesia
* All the records, transcripts, documents, and paperwork Obama continues to hide from the public is all hidden because it lists his name as “Barry Soetoro” on all of it.
* Obama will not allow his birth certificate to be released because it lists the “wrong” name on it:  Barry Soetoro
Well, you can decide for yourself.
But the theory certainly does seem plausible.
Click here to read the full story.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jack LaLanne Dies at 96

Fitness Icon Jack LaLanne has passed away at the age of 96.

Jack was talking fitness long before the "fitness craze" hit the country. Equipment he created is still being used in gyms today. His fitness show, The Jack LaLanne Show, held a national audience for three decades. And the man was a master marketer, creating stunts such as an underwater swim of the Golden Gate Bridge to completing over 1,000 push-ups in just over 20 minutes.

We should all hope to be as active and vibrant as Jack was in his nineties!

Table 31: Philly Dining At Its Finest!

Restaurant week in Philadelphia is always wild and hectic.
And unless you have a plan and a strategy, you're liable to be disappointed.
Some higher-end restaurants that participate in the $35, three-course dinner specials dumb down their dishes and skimp on portions while pretending to offer a stellar deal. And some of the lower-end restaurants simply boost their prices and don't offer a whole lot more. Plus, nearly all the restaurants are super-crowded and reservations are a must.
This year the whole experience is spread out over two weeks and continues through January 28.
But you still have to know the territory and plan ahead.
We knew where we wanted to go right from the outset. Our first and only choice this year was Chris Scarduzio's contemporary Italian gem, Table 31, located in the sparkling new Comcast Center at 17th & JFK Boulevard.
Sleek is the only way to describe Table 31.
Within the 15,000 square-foot restaurant are a variety of innovative dining and event spaces, each equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems. Two stunning bars, ground- and second-floor dining rooms, an intimate second-floor mezzanine lounge, a second-floor private dining room and an elegant third-floor banquet facility make the new this place an ideal setting for any special meal.
For our evening out, we nestled ourselves in a plush but nonetheless cozy booth in the main dining room that gave us a spectacular view of the entire scene. The high-ceilinged room is tastefully understated in shades of chocolate, cocoa and latte with flashes of deep red thrown in via large mirrors that reflect out to a huge streetside glass wall covered in sheer, translucent curtains.
And the food completes the whole approach that is set by the decor -- or maybe it's the other way around. Anyway, this place successfully marries traditional Italian cuisine with playful, contemporary twists to create a very memorable dining experience. The whole atmosphere puts one in mind of the legendary Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram's Building in New York, but on a much small scale.
There is not a friendlier host in the city than Chris Scarduzio and at every turn his staff mirrors the warm, inviting tone that he sets. Our server, Michael Rohrbach was attentive, helpful and accommodating throughout the evening and every staff member was courteous and professional.
We chose from the Restaurant Week menu and we were not disappointed.
Our appetizers included the  Garganelli Pasta with forest mushroom bolognaise, the Belgian Endive with arugula, pickled beets, ricotta salata and pecan vinaigrette and the Rock Shrimp Fritto Misto with lemon caper aioli. The Rock Shrimp were outstanding but suffice it to say that no one was disappointed. Every appetizer was excellent.
For our main courses we selected the Roasted Breast of Chicken with parmesan fregola sarda and rosemary essence, the Monk Fish Scaloppini with barlotti bean fricassee and pancetta vermouth sauce and the Roasted Norwegian Salmon with scallops, cauliflower puree, five root vegetables and dijon mustard sauce. Once again, delightful dishes superbly prepared.
For dessert we opted for the Warm Apple Crostata with coffee gelati and a selection of housemade gelati and sorbetti. The warm apple was perfect for a cold evening and the gelati and sorbetti were just enough (and just sweet enough) to satisfy.
And, BTW: the martinis were perfectly mixed and the coffee was rich and hot.
On top of all this, our valet parking was free since we arrived before 7 pm.
No doubt about it: This was our best Restaurant Week experience ever. And we won't wait till restaurant week to return again. This is a keeper!

Night Sky Produces Eerie Colors

We have settled into a deep January chill with  temperatures ready to set single-digit records tonight. At the same time, twilight produces the onset of a night sky with vivid, mysterious colors. It's a great winter show -- a distinctive. dreamy midwinter surprise! This is the way it looked earlier this evening.

Apple Not Working? What About Your Blackberry?

A friend sent this along to us and we just couldn't resist posting it.
Leave it to the British to put everything into perspective.

The Fighter Gives New Meaning To 'Hardscrabble'

As a general rule, I don't like fight films.
Except that I loved Requiem for a Heavyweight (both the TV and movie versions) and Somebody Up There Likes Me.
But fight films don't appeal to me.
Except that I thought Raging Bull was astounding.
Still, I can do without fight films.
Even though I loved Rocky I and II and thoroughly enjoyed the most recent version, Rocky Balboa. And I suppose I'm one of the few people who've seen both the original movie version of Golden Boy and the Broadway musical of the same name with Sammy Davis, live.
So, yes I've seen the new Mark Walhberg/Christian Bale flick, The Fighter. It's a helluva good yarn. And, as fight films go, it's thoroughly engrossing.
Based on a real life tale, this is the story of "Irish" Micky Ward and his family. Micky, of Lowell, Mass., became world light welterweight champion partly because of and party despite his family -- his frantic brother Dicky, his combustible mother Alice, his street smart girlfriend Charlene and his seven senselessly scrappy sisters.Oh, and there's also his father, his step-father, assorted fight promoters, trainers, prostitutes, drug dealers and the whole town of Lowell.
As Micky, Wahlberg gives a subtle, understated performance packed with deep-eyed intensity. This leave plenty of room for Bale to climb over the top as Dicky. Bale is the sort of high-velocity actor who can play characters whose risky behavior and unpredictable outbursts alternately attract and repel us. Once again, he does not disappoint. Bale is quite simply one of the most exciting actors working today. As Alice, Melissa Leo is the type of grappling, profane Rowhouse Rosie that we know all too well. She's a staple in America's remaining white, urban, ethnic enclaves. And Amy Adams is tough and tender as Charlene. It's really quite an ensemble.
There's no question that Micky Ward earned his pugilistic pedigree. To get to the top he had to build a tough physical veneer for the ring while stripping himself bare emotionally with his family and his girlfriend. And the whole story is here. It's wrenching, and gritty. Plus, the film's authenticity is backed up by both faux and real documentary footage.
Be forewarned: Hard punches.Raw language. Blood and guts.
Hardscrabble all the way.
The Fighter packs a powerful wallop.

Casey & Toomey: Not Exactly A Bromance, But . . .

Pennsylvania US Senators Pat Toomey (a newly-elected Republican) and Bob Casey (an up-for-re-election Democrat) will sit together at this week's State of the Union joint session of Congress.
In doing so, they will break the long-standing tradition that has members of Congress sitting on opposite sides of the aisle according to party affiliation.
Here's what the senators have to say about it:

Senator Bob Casey:
“The simple act of sitting together in a normally divided chamber will send an important signal that legislating shouldn’t be about taking partisan sides…Senator Toomey and I will sit together as public officials representing all the people of Pennsylvania. I look forward to working together and hope the bipartisan spirit will continue for all Members of Congress.”
Senator Pat Toomey:
“I am proud to sit with my fellow colleague from Pennsylvania, Senator Bob Casey…There will be many opportunities for us to work together in the 112th Congress, and sitting next to each other is a small, but important step towards setting a civil and cooperative tone for the challenging work ahead of us.”

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cheesecake Factory Remains A Huge Favorite

Some people call it a "diner on steroids."
But if you've ever really dined at The Cheesecake Factory, you know it ain't no diner. It's a zippy, up-to-the-minute, full service restaurant and hoppin bar that's ready to serve you just about anything you crave. And, ohhhh -- that cheesecake!
Of course, it's a branded chain. But lest you think that every Cheesecake Factory is totally the same, you're wrong. Yes, they all maintain high standards. They all attract large crowds. They all provide great service. And they all serve real, honest-to-goodness tasty food. But beyond the delightful architectural whimsy of every Cheesecake Factory, you'll find real people who make the whole operation tick. And it's the staff people who make every Cheesecake Factory unique.
We particularly like the staff at The Cheesecake Factory at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill (NJ).
Under the able direction of genial General Manager Kevin Johnson, this operation hums like a finely-tuned instrument. Though it's a very busy place, the wait staff has time for each and every customer and every member of the staff seems to go out of his or her way to satisfy. As you return, the staff not only remembers you but they remember your preferences and desires.
And often, Kevin himself will circulate to greet the many diners and find out if your satisfied.
One final note: Many people seem to think that the only reason to go to the Cheesecake Factory (beyond the cheesecake, of course) is gargantuan portions. Well, you can have the giant portions if you want. They're still on the menu. But there are also many smaller plates, half portions and special offerings that won't overwhelm you. You'll be surprised at all the options. And the restaurant is always ready to meet your special requests.
Great food. Reasonable prices. Endless choices. Terrific staff. You can't beat it!