Friday, October 31, 2008

Studs Terkel, 1912-2008. R.I.P.

Studs Terkel, one of America's most interesting writers has died at the age of 96.

Terkel was as big an institution in Chicago as the Cubs, Michael Jordan and Mike Ditka.

Terkel was an unabashed left-winger and supported Obama. Yet his writing was compelling because he was a good listener.

His specialty was oral history. Arguably, Terkel's best known work was his 1974 book Working. Terkel recounted the stories of Americans in how they spent their day and how they felt about the work that filled their day. Terkel talked to everyone from police officers to prostitutes; professors to piano tuners He even interviewed actor Rip Torn and former major league pitcher Steve Hamilton. It didn't matter to whom Terkel talked. He made their stories come to life.

Terkel lived a long productive life to its very end.

Obama Throws Reporters Under the Plane

First, Joe the Plumber asks a question of Obama and his life is turned upside down.

Then Joe Biden gets asked some tough questions by a TV reporter in Orlando and Obama ostracizes the TV station.

Now, Obama has removed three reporters from The Dallas Morning-News, The New York Post and The Washington Times. Why? Their editorial boards have endorsed John McCain. An unpardonable sin in Obama World. In their place are additional reporters from The Chicago Tribune and scribes for Essence and Jet magazines. A symphony of sycophants.

If this is the behavior of Obama the Candidate do we really want to know how Obama the President will brook dissenting views, impure thoughts and honest scrutiny?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama YouTube Video

I must admit I had not seen this video on YouTube until just a few minutes ago. But more than 11 million people have. I can see why. (|WS8)

The video was recorded last August by Joe Cook. I guess you could call him Joe the Soldier. He states amongst other things:

I've seen many men sacrifice their lives for the Iraqi people. They died for a purpose not a mistake. They died giving hope. They died promoting freedom.

When you call the Iraqi War a mistake you disrespect the service and the sacrifice of everyone whose died promoting freedom. Freedom carries with it a price.

Because you do not understand or appreciate these principles, sir, I am supporting Senator John McCain for President.

He, too, made a huge sacrifice promoting freedom because he understands the fundamental truth. Freedom is always worth the price.

With that, Cook turns around and walks away revealing a prosthetic where his left leg used to be.

When Mr. Cook says freedom is always worth the price we can take him at his word.

While Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder have spoken out on behalf of McCain I think both of them would agree that no one has spoken out more eloquently for McCain and perhaps our mission in Iraq than Joe Cook.

Mr. Cook, thank you for your sacrifice and for your words of wisdom.

Old Dutch Relaunches Ketchup Potato Chips in U.S.

IC readers might be familiar with my fondness for ketchup potato chips. I wrote about this fondness in the summer of 2007. (

The very first ketchup chip I tasted was Old Dutch which is one of its top sellers in Canada. At the time I wrote the article, Old Dutch did not offer ketchup chips in the U.S. although not for lack of effort. Old Dutch introduced ketchup chips to the U.S. market on two occasions - once in the early 1980s and once in the early 1990s - without success.

Perhaps the third time will be a charm.

Last week, Old Dutch relaunched Ketchup Potato Chips. ( They are available for sale in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. If you live outside these Midwest states you need not squeeze your Heinz or Hunts on just any potato chips. You can buy them online at or phone them at 1-800-685-0315.

I ordered six large bags. It cost me $37 including S&H. But they are big bags and I'm going to enjoy each and every one of them. I'm even sharing a few with my roommate.

Brewers Name Macha New Manager

O.K., I know the season is over but I will make some occasional baseball posts such as when the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVPs are announced in each league, significant trades or free agent signings and, of course, changes in managerial personnel.

With respect to the latter, the Milwaukee Brewers have named Ken Macha as their manager for the 2009 season. In 2008, the Brewers reached the postseason for the first time since 1982. On September 15th, after losing 11 of 15 games and falling out of the lead for the NL Wild Card, the Brewers fired manager Ned Yost and third base coach Dale Sveum was named interim manager. The Brewers went 7-5 under Sveum. Not earth shattering but good enough to win the NL Wild Card. The Brewers were eliminated by the Philadelphia Phillies in the best of five NLDS, 3-1. As we know, the Phillies went on to win the World Series.

I'm surprised the Brewers didn't stick with Sveum given that they reached the postseason. But Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Sveum shortly after the NLDS elimination that he wanted a more experienced manager. Melvin came close to hiring Macha prior to the 2003 season but opted for Yost. Macha instead became manager of the Oakland Athletics in 2003 where he served for four seasons. The Athletics won the AL West under his tutelage in 2003 and 2006. However, the Athletics were eliminated in the ALDS in 2003 by the Boston Red Sox after leading 2-0 and were swept by the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 ALCS. The latter defeat cost Macha his job in Oakland. For the past two seasons, Macha has been an occasional pre-game and post-game studio analyst for NESN's Red Sox TV broadcasts.

Macha is generally considered calm and even tempered compared to the volatile disposition of Ned Yost. For a relatively young ball club and one that often reflected Yost's volatility (i.e. when Prince Fielder accosted Manny Parra in the dugout during a Brewers-Reds game) Macha might be just what the Brewers need. On the other hand, it might also help if they can re-sign C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets.

McCain & Obama to Appear on Monday Night Football

The night before the election both John McCain and Barack Obama will appear in pre-recorded interviews on ESPN's Monday Night Football during half time of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Washington Redskins game. Both interviews will be conducted by longtime ESPN analyst Chris Berman.

Frankly, I think most people will be watching football to get away from politics. Methinks a lot of people will be heading for the refrigerator at the end of the second quarter.

On the other hand, it is fitting the Steelers should be playing this night of all nights. You can bet all of Pittsburgh and much of western Pennsylvania will be tuned into the game and if there are some undecided amongst them they'll be watching. One must also consider that the most recent Monday night game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots attracted almost 11 million viewers. ( So if there's an opportunity for McCain to intercept the ball from Obama this is surely it. O.K., that analysis might be a Hail Mary on my part but McCain...could...go...all...the...way!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies Win World Series

It took two days but the Philadelphia Phillies won Game 5 of the World Series and with it their first championship since 1980.

This World Series would have been largely uneventful if not for the events of two nights ago. On Monday night, it was raining cats, dogs and other assorted barnyard animals and yet the game went onward. Rays manager Joe Maddon looked like he was on a fishing boat at sea.

The game was delayed in the middle of the 6th inning tied at 2-2. The rain continued in Philadelphia yesterday so it was postponed until tonight.

The proceedings this evening were delayed not by rain but by hot air. Barack Obama's infomercial to be exact.

(No, I did not see the infomercial. I was too busy writing my article on Obama that just went up. I came home just in time for the resumption of the game.)

Well, it was only three and a half innings but it was a fun packed three and a half innings.

Geoff Jenkins, who pinch hit for starting pitcher Cole Hamels, resumed the game with a double off Grant Balfour. Jimmy Rollins put down a sacrifice bunt to to advance Jenkins to third. Jayson Werth singled home Jenkins to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.

No sooner than the Phillies took the lead than the Rays tied it at 3-3 on a solo homerun by Rocco Baldelli off Phillies reliever Ryan Madson. Jason Barlett then hit a single. After Bartlett was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rays reliever J.P. Howell, Madson was removed in favor of J.C. Romero. Akinori Iwamura hit a ball up the middle which Chase Utley got to but appeared unable to throw it to first. That's because he threw it home and Carlos Ruiz tagged out Bartlett at the plate. The game remained tied at 3-3.

Pat Burrell just missed hitting a homerun but settled for a double. He was removed for pinch runner Eric Bruntlett. That might represent Burrell's last appearance in a Phillies uniform as he is now a free agent. Burrell has spent his entire nine year career with the Phillies. If he does leave Philadelphia for other pastures he leaves with a World Series ring.

I've always been a fan of Pedro Feliz. Not a superstar but he can hit, has some power and can play a variety of positions. A good role player. Feliz singled in the go-ahead with a base hit up the middle plating Bruntlett. Phillies lead 4-3.

Karl Rove told Bill O'Reilly that Barack Obama is a lousy closer. Perhaps he should hire Brad Lidge who did not blow a save opportunity in 2008. Lidge struck out pinch hitter Eric Hinske to give the Phillies their second World Series title in franchise history which began in 1883.

The Phillies triumph also represented the first time a pro sports team in Philly has won a championship since the 76ers won the NBA Title in 1983.

My father thought the Rays underperformed and that the Rays beat themselves rather than actually being beat by the Phillies There's no question the Rays performance was subpar but the Phillies had to take advantage of that opportunity. With the exception of the 10-2 blowout in Game 4, the Phillies won all their other games by one run. Their offense was not sterling but their hits were timely. Chase Utley's two run homerun in the 1st inning of Game 1; Carlos Ruiz' 8th inning single in Game 3 and Shane Victorino's two run single in the 1st inning of Game 5 two days ago.

It also didn't hurt the Phillies to have Cole Hamels on their side. Although Hamels got a no decision in the clinching game he did win Game 1 that set the tone of this Series. Hamels added the 2008 World Series MVP to his 2008 NLCS MVP trophy. Nice work if you can get it.

Yes, it would have been a nice Cinderella story for the Rays to have won the World Series. All the more so given my infamous prediction they would win it all two years ago. But Philly fans are as passionate as Red Sox fans. The Phillies have a long history with sporadic success. So it is nice to see them triumph. Phillies manager Charley Manuel might not have any new age 9=8 formulas a la Joe Maddon but Manuel has survived cancer, quadruple bypass surgery and earlier this postseason lost his mother. If he could persevere so could the Phillies. They overcame the Mets in the NL East, the Brewers in the NLDS, Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers in the NLCS and now the heavily favored Rays in the World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies earned every bit of their success and Philadelphians can enjoy the fruits of that success. A hearty congratulations.

Now onto five months of baseball withdrawal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McCain: "No One Will Delay The World Series With An Infomercial When I'm President."

While speaking in Pennsylvania, John McCain said, "No one will the delay the World Series with an infomercial while I'm President."

This was, of course, in reference to Barack Obama's 30 minute ad that will air tomorrow night on NBC, CBS and FOX which is covering the 2008 World Series. Game 5 of the World Series, which was suspended last night in the middle of the 6th inning due to inclement weather, will be resumed on Wednesday night but the start of the game will be delayed to accomodate Obama. The game is scheduled to resume at 8:37 p.m.

Does Obama really want to alienate Phillies and Rays fans who are based in key states Obama must win? Evidently so. Despite his occasional reminders to his supporters about the New Hampshire Primary he seems to think he can't wear out his welcome and can do no wrong.

The liberal media makes the weak case that NBC accomodated John McCain during his acceptance speech at the RNC last month. Because of the RNC, the NFL moved its kick off game between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins up 90 minutes earlier. (

But there's a problem with that line of reasoning like most left-wing arguments. The RNC was scheduled more than two years ahead of time. Far sooner than the NFL set up its schedule for the 2008 season. By contrast, twelve days ago the Obama campaign decides that it is buying half an hour of airtime with the knowledge it could conflict with the World Series. If the schedule had played out the Obama infomercial would have conflicted with Game 6 in Tampa Bay. But given the weather problems alluded to earlier it will now interfere with the resumption of Game 5.

I can't emphasize this enough. If I'm a Phillies fan and haven't seen my team win a World Series in 28 years, I don't want to see Obama, McCain or anybody else. The games start late enough as it is. If I'm a Rays fan who has never seen my team win a World Series and are on the brink of elimination, I don't want to see Obama, McCain or anybody else. I would just want baseball and save politics for another night.

But Obama is so full of himself. If he's willing to put the World Series on hold what is there to stop him from delaying the proceedings on Superbowl Sunday?

Crittenden's Cretinist Remarks About Palin

Danielle Crittenden has become the latest in a line of conservatives who have come to publicly view Sarah Palin with derision and disdain. In her latest article on The Huntington Post, that bastion of conservative thought, Crittenden writes:

It's as plain as day - glaringly obvious! - that she's unfit for the job she's running for.

Well, it's not obvious to me. Nor is it obvious to the thousands upon thousands of everyday Americans, many of whom have never attended a political rally in their lives, to come hear her speak.

If Crittenden objects to Palin so be it. But I need more than a declaration that she's unfit for the job. Why is she unfit? Why is it glaringly obvious that's she unfit when many others disagree? Has she talked with either Frank Murkowski or Tony Knowles about their impressions of Palin?Crittenden doesn't see fit to answer those questions. Instead, she sees fit to call those who counterargue Obama's lack of experience as nothing more than "an argument you can make without having graduated elementary school." Given Crittenden's cretinist arguments I cannot help but think that she speaks from personal experience.

McCain & Palin Call on Stevens to Resign

Both John McCain and Sarah Palin have called on Alaska Senator Ted Stevens to resign in light of his conviction yesterday on seven counts of failing to properly report gifts.

Now some might say to McCain and Palin, "Yeah, now you call for him to resign."

But the last time I checked everyone, including Republican Senators, are innocent until proven guilty. It would have been improper for McCain, Palin or anyone else to call on Stevens to step down until the jury spoke. Suppose McCain and Palin had called on Stevens to resign and he had been acquitted?

Stevens has stated at this point that he has no intention of abandoning his eighth election to the Senate. Of course, if he is re-elected he could be the only thing that separates the country from a Democratic super majority. Unlike other states, Governor Palin cannot make a temporary appointment as a result of a 2004 ballot initiative. (
A special election would have to be held between 60 to 90 days of the vacancy unless the vacancy occurs within 60 days of the primary election for that seat. The primary took place on August 26th. Guess what? The 60 days have already elapsed as of last Saturday. Had he resigned before Saturday then the 60 to 90 day provision would have been waived. Either way, if Stevens resigns then Palin cannot fill the seat with another Republican and if he does resign the advantage goes to the Democrats in the special election given all the negative attention Alaska Republicans have received fair or not.

Of course, Stevens will appeal his conviction. Given all the troubles that occurred with the jury I am surprised it didn't end in a mistrial. No doubt his lawyers will focus their attention on the jury deliberations. Nonetheless, given the jury's verdict McCain and Palin could not do any other than call on Stevens to resign.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Biden Blasts Florida News Anchor

At a rally in North Carolina, Joe Biden attacked Orlando TV news anchor Barbara West:

I was on a television station the other day doing a satellite feed to a major network in Florida, and the anchor quotes Karl Marx, and says in a sense, "Isn't Barack Obama Karl Marx?" You know, I mean, folks, this stuff you're hearing in this campaign, some of it's pretty ugly. And some of the innuendo is pretty ugly." (

How is asking a question pretty ugly? Where's the innuendo? West wasn't comparing Obama to Marx on a personal level but on a political and economic one. West asked about Obama's policy of "spreading the wealth." Those were Obama's words to Joe the Plumber. Those wee Obama's words when he spoke with Chicago Public Radio in 2001. Redistribution is a key tenet of socialism. Why not ask about Marx? Perhaps Biden would have been preferred West to compare Obama's policies to that of former British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.

Heaven help anyone who dare speaketh frankly with an Obama-Biden Administration be they reporters or plumbers.

Hudson's Seven-Year-Old Nephew Found Dead

This is simply awful.,2933,444192,oo.html

The killer is lucky that Illinois has a moratorium on the death penalty.

Dean Barnett, 1967-2008. R.I.P.

I have just read that fellow conservative blogger Dean Barnett has died today of complications from Cystic Fibrosis. He was 41-years-old.

Our paths never crossed but I did read his stuff on occasion and liked the clarity with which he utilized his powers of persuasion. In fact, on at least one occasion, I quoted him when I reviewed Dinesh D'Souza's The Enemy At Home ('souza-gets-september-11th-wrong/)

I regret that we did not meet because I suspect we would have had a great deal to discuss about politics and baseball. He was as avid a Red Sox fan. Before he went to work for Hugh Hewitt, his blog was titled Sox Blog

If there is a silver lining in all this is that the prognosis for people afflicted with CF is much better than it was a quarter century ago. I remember while going to grade school in Thunder Bay we would have presentations by this woman whose daughter had CF and her daughter would usually accompany her. I don't know if she's still alive. But back then a CF patient could expect to live into their 20s and some occasionally made it past 30. In the present, CF patients can survive into their 40s as was the case with Barnett. Some even make it to 50. So there is something to be said for medical research that has made treatments more effective.

Still, Dean Barnett had a lot more to give this world.

Does Obama Think the Supreme Court Should Redistribute Wealth?

An interview Barack Obama did with Chicago Public Radio in 2001 while an Illinois State Senator and Professor of Constitutional Law discussing the U.S. Supreme Court under Earl Warren during the Civil Rights Era. Obama states:

But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you, it says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn't shifted. (

This begs several questions.

Would Obama strive to change the character of the Constitution from "a charter of negative liberties" to one of positive rights?

If so, does he want a "radical court"? That, of course, would not be limited to the Supreme Court but the Federal Court of Appeals and the district courts.

Is it the job of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary to redistribute wealth?

As my late maternal grandfather would tell me, "The world doesn't owe you a living."

But under Obama that very well might happen. My grandfather, who started working in a coal mine at the age of 15, would have been aghast.

One would like to think this would give voters second thoughts about Obama. It might. But the world is a different place than it was during the Great Depression when my grandfather was fortunate to have been employed. I bet there are a lot of people out there, some of whom are hurting very badly, who find the idea of getting free money from the federal government very, very appealing and will pull the lever for Obama in eight days time and don't care what he does to give what they think is owed to them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama Campaign Boycotts Florida TV Station

If you see any interview with Barack Obama, Joe Biden or anyone else affiliated with their campaign in Florida, it won't be on WFTV, an ABC affiliate in Orlando.

Senator Biden became testy in an interview done last Thursday with WFTV reporter Barbara West when she asked Biden if "spreading the wealth" wasn't Marxist and if America was no longer the world's leading superpower since he believed Obama would be tested by foreign powers in his first six months in office. Biden said, "I don't know who's writing your questions," quipped Biden.

After the interview, the Obama Campaign cancelled an interview WFTV had planned to do with Jill Biden. A spokesperson for Obama called the cancellation "non-negotiable."

If Obama is elected is his Administration going to cancel interviews with every TV station, radio station and newspaper that asks them questions they don't like? It's one thing if WFTV had uttered something it knew to be false or made an incorrect statement and did not acknowledge the error. But all Barbara West was doing was asking questions. Just like Joe the Plumber.

Well, the liberal media better not be kvetching about Sarah Palin and press conferences anymore. One can criticize Palin's interview with Katie Couric but Palin never cut off the interview or asked Couric from where she was getting her questions. Did you see the McCain Campaign boycott CBS? Instead, McCain and Palin went on with Couric to do another interview.

Perhaps Obama believes his own hype and is expecting synchophantic behavior from the media. It is likely the liberal media will get a collective shiver up its leg and idol worship Obama from Inauguration Day onwards. If that is the case when someone gets out of the line the reaction of an Obama Administration will be swift and harsh. It will not be an Administration that brooks dissent from the media or for that matter plumbers, be they licensed or not.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Murder in Jamaica Plain (But For the Grace of G-d)

My previous two posts have concerned the murder of Little Rock TV news anchor Anne Pressly and the murder of the mother and brother of singer/actress Jennifer Hudson.

Crime occurs everyday in this country and in every other country. It is a part of human existence that we know lurks around us and hope it does not touch us.

This afternoon it nearly touched me. Although I did not know at the time.

At about 2:30, I walked from my apartment to the laundromat on the corner of Rossmore Road and Washington Street in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood in Boston where I recently moved.

During my time at the laundromat, I heard loud ambulance sirens go off for a couple of minutes. The neighborhood police station is nearby so other than the sound being loud and going on longer than usual I took little notice.

I left the laundromat after 4 p.m. and walked back on Rossmore Road towards Forest Hills Street. I was listening to music on my phone and I put my bag down for a moment. A man approached me and asked where I was going. It was then that I noticed the yellow police tape blocking the street. I asked if the street was blocked off and he replied in the affirmative. I walked down a side street and took an alternate route home.

I later learned that a young man had been shot and killed in the driveway of his home on the very street that I had walked not a half hour earlier. The victim has not been identified but he was installing a car seat when another man got out of a car, approached the victim and shot him three times before running back into the car.

Given the description of the incident it doesn't appear to be a random killing. But then again had I been walking there a short time later the gunman might have saw fit to fire at a potential witness. But for the Grace of G-d go I.

Something like this happened to me once before. It was on a Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1994 when I was living in Ottawa. I remember taking a walk late that afternoon on Elgin Street, a stretch of road filled with restaurants. About an hour after I had walked on Elgin Street, a young man from Britain named Nicholas Battersby was walking there when some teenagers taking a joyride gunned him down in front of a club called The Penguin (the place where I had seen Bo Diddley play). This was truly a random act. Some suburban kids decided they wanted to know what it was like to kill a person and acted on it.

Once again but for the Grace of G-d. Those kids weren't specifically after Battersby. They were looking for a target, any target. If they had been out there an hour earlier perhaps Nick Battersby would be alive and perhaps might be blogging about the random shooting death of Aaron Goldstein.

The point here is that no one is immune from losing their life at a moment's notice. Those are the chances we take when we go to work, go to the corner store, take a leisurely walk or are going back home. Of course, one cannot convince oneself life will end imminently but on the other hand I am consciously aware that each day I wake up might be my last. It's not an easy way to live but it does enhance one's appreciation of the beauty that we occasionally find in the midst of the ugliness that often characterizes life.

Mother & Brother of Jennifer Hudson Shot to Death; 7-Year-Old Nephew Missing

Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother were found shot to death in their Chicago home yesterday afternoon. Darnell Donerson and Jason Hudson were found by a relative and Hudson's 7-year-old nephew, Julian is missing and an Amber Alert has been issued. Police have arrested William Balfour although he has not been charged with any crime. Balfour was once married to Hudson's older sister and has a long criminal record. He was paroled after spending seven years in prison for attempted murder and carjacking.

Hudson first came to public attention as a contestant on American Idol. Although she was eliminated she has gone on to enjoy both a singing and acting career. Hudson won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the 2006 film Dreamgirls. Hudson has also appeared in the film version of Sex & The City as well as The Secret Life of Bees. If that weren't enough she currently has a number one song on the Billboard R&B Charts and recently became engaged.

However, in light of this horrific event, all of that seems very far away right now. Not only with losing two relatives with whom she was close but that an innocent little boy is also in peril. I cannot begin to imagine what she is going through not to mention the rest of her family. At this point, we can only hope the boy hasn't been harmed.

Anne Pressly, 1982-2008. R.I.P.

Anne Pressly, the TV news anchor from Little Rock who was found beaten in her home last Monday, succumbed to her injuries today. She was only 26 years old.

Pressly also had a cameo in the Oliver Stone movie W. which I saw last night.

She was found by her mother when Pressly didn't answer her wake up call. Pressly was found beaten beyond recognition about her head, face and neck. She was never able to talk to authorities or anyone else about what had happened.

Little Rock Police do not have anyone in custody but at this point suspect robbery was a motive as one of her credit cards was used at a gas station shortly after the attack.

Given the viciousness of the attack it is hard to believe the attack was random. A deranged stalker who was obsessed with Pressly perhaps? Whatever the circumstances though this woman had her whole life ahead of her and some awful excuse of a human being snuffed it out.

Israel Could Hold Elections in February 2009

Tzipi Livni, the new leader of Israel's Kadima Party, is planning to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres tomorrow to call early elections. Livni was attempting to put together a coalition government but the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party would not back her. They view her as keen to surrender East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

So an election would most likely take place in February.

I think this strongly favors Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu. The longer the election campaign the bigger the disadvantage to the incumbent party. Netanyahu did not have a great tenure in office but it's been nearly a decade since he was last PM. Whether Livni likes it or not since she has not shown her chops as PM she will inevitably be linked to the incompetent and corrupt legacy of Ehud Olmert, who remains Israel's Prime Minister. Olmert is only to leave office once Livni either formed a coalition or after an election. Well, if Livni couldn't form a coalition how can she expect to gain the confidence of the Israeli electorate? Meanwhile, Livni carries Olmert around like an albatross.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thoughts on W.

Tonight, I went to see the Oliver Stone movie W.

What possessed me to do such a thing?

My roommate invited me. If not for that invitation I would not have bothered. Nevertheless, I was curious to see what the fuss was about although I pretty much knew what was coming. After all, Oliver Stone making a movie about George W. Bush would be like asking Leni Riefenstahl to make a movie about Auschwitz.

A week ago, I saw Charlie Rose interview Stone and Josh Brolin (who plays W.). Stone insisted he had no malice towards Bush. Yet he insisted that if Bush didn't invade Iraq he would have invaded another nation. Meanwhile, Brolin said he prepared for the role by watching mice run through mazes.

I don't doubt he did because nearly everyone in the film was little more than a two dimensional caricature. Brolin mostly portrays Bush with a deer in the headlights look. Richard Dreyfuss does have Dick Cheney's physical mannerisms down but his portrayal of Cheney is reminiscient of his portrayal of Bob Rumson, the fictional Republican Presidential candidate in The American President.

The Bush Administration official who comes off as worse than anyone else is Condi Rice. Thandie Newton's interpretation of Rice in her original capacity as National Security Adviser leaves the viewer with the impression of something little more than an echo of Bush. Newton has the inflection of Rice's voice down but Rice speaks in a soft, smooth manner whereas Newton takes the inflection and makes it staccato and cartoonish.

Not surprisingly, the Bush Administration official who comes off the best is Colin Powell (played by Jeffrey Wright.) Of course, filming took place before Powell endorsed Obama but it was as if Stone was dispensing forgiveness to Powell as if he were anticipating his eventual seal of approval for The Anointed One.

The one other character who was portrayed in three dimensions was Laura Bush. Elizabeth Banks portrayal of the First Lady was the strongest of the film. Brolin's scenes with Banks were the only ones where his character took on human qualities. Otherwise, Stone would have been better off casting Frank Caliendo as Bush.

One genuinely sad note about the film. Towards the end of the movie there is a scene with an Ann Coulter like female commentator. She was played by Anne Pressly, a news anchor in Little Rock, Arkansas. Earlier this week, she was found beaten almost beyond recognition in her home. She is still alive but has not been able to speak and might have brain damage.

Many years ago, I saw Stone's Nixon. Anthony Hopkins portrayal made me feel sympathetic towards the 37th President. I also think that has a lot to do with the fact the film was made two decades after Nixon's resignation and a year following his death. For crying out loud, Bush still has 88 days left in office. Needless to say, there's a tremendous lack of perspective in the film. Who knows what Iraq will be like in 10 to 20 years from now? Perhaps history will be kinder to Bush. That is, unless, Oliver Stone is writing it. What do you expect of a director who casts an actor (Dreyfuss) who has publicly called for Bush to be impeached? There's also very little mention of September 11th. Making a movie about President Bush with few referenes to 9/11 would be like making a film about Lincoln's Presidency with little mention of The Civil War.

Then again it is only a work of fiction.

Bloomberg to Seek Third Term as NYC Mayor; NYC Council Overturns Term Limits

Yesterday, New York City Council gave Michael Bloomberg its blessing for him to seek a third term. By a 29-22 vote, Bloomberg will once again seek election as New York City Mayor in November 2009.

In so doing, New York City Council gave the electorate the middle finger. Twice in the 1990s, New York City voters said they wanted term limits on their Mayor.

Funny, when it was even hinted that Rudy Giuliani might want to seek a third term after the September 11th attacks, the liberal media was aghast. But with Bloomberg it barely registers a yawn.

Yes, Bloomberg was elected as a Republican in 2001 and 2005 but he was a RINO. Bloomberg only ran as a Republican because he would never won the Democratic Primary in NYC despite his billions. Bloomberg quit the Republican Party in 2007. It briefly fuelled speculation he might become a Presidential candidate.

Bloomberg has some admirable qualities. After one suicide bomb attack on a bus in Israel, he flew there the next day to ride the bus route in solidarity with the victims of that act of terrorism.

However, Bloomberg should abide by the rules. After all, let's say he is re-elected next year. What's to prevent Bloomberg from seeking a fourth term in 2013, a fifth term and beyond.

If New York voters wanted to rescind term limits that would be one thing. If the people of New York wanted to elect their Mayor indefinitely so be it. But the people of New York have clearly stated they want term limits. The arrogance of Bloomberg and the defiance of the will of the people by the 29 New York City Councillors is contemptible. They behave this way at their own peril.

The best way for New Yorkers to show their contempt for this illegitimacy is for them to not to re-elect Bloomberg next year.

Of course, in order to do that there will have to be someone brave enough to run against him and have the gravitas to beat him.

Can you say Rudy?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Dressing Down of Sarah Palin

What can one say? If the liberal media is prepared to attack Sarah Palin's children why not go after the clothes on her back? Would they prefer she wear a Republican cloth coat?

But this is the game folks. They hate her because she is a conservative and wasn't part of the Ivy League. Let's face it. She's also better looking than most; Neiman Marcus or not. All the more reason she is resented with such a furor. If Sarah Palin were a liberal Democrat and a graduate of Harvard or Yale they would already be erecting statues in her honor.

The flip side of it is that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Sarah Palin was plenty strong before McCain selected her. She will be even stronger after the election whether she goes back to Juneau or whether she comes to Washington to serve as Vice-President.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dion Steps Down as Canada's Liberal Leader

Less than a week after leading the Liberal Party to its worst electoral showing in nearly a quarter century, Stephane Dion has announced he will step down as party leader. He will remain until the party chooses a new leader in May 2009.

Dion was surprisingly elected Liberal leader in December 2006. He came up the middle between Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff when Gerard Kennedy threw his support to Dion. The Liberals went from 95 to 76 seats last week and garnered only 26% of the popular vote. A carbon tax wasn't exactly a big hit with Canadians. Even after the economy imploded, Dion steadfastly refused to change course and continued to promote a Green Shift with the carbon tax as its fulcrum. While Stephen Harper and the Conservatives did not win a majority government they increased their seat total mostly at the expense of Dion and the Liberals. The writing was on the wall before the election results were tallied.

Rae and Ignatieff are expected to be the top two candidates in the race. But why? They'll simply cancel each other out again. They both represent Toronto constituencies and appeal to the left wing of the party. Hey, they were even college roommates at University of Toronto's Trinity College in the 1960's. Kennedy also represents a Toronto constituency as does Ken Dryden, the NHL Hall of Fame goalie who also ran for the leadership in 2006.

It makes me wonder if the new Liberal leader will come from outside of Toronto, if not Ontario altogether. Former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna has been mentioned when Jean Chretien and Paul Martin left the helm but the former Ambassador to the United States has resisted the temptation to re-enter electoral politics. Ralph Goodale, the former Minister of Finance who hails from Saskatchewan, is another possibility. However, Goodale does not speak French which is essential for any political figure to be a leader of a national political party. Goodale supported Rae in 2006.

The Liberals best bet is if Rae and Ignatieff join forces. Rae is the more experienced politician and would be better suited as a party leader (he was leader of the Ontario NDP for 14 years and served as Premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995; albeit incompetently but that's a whole other story.) Despite his weak record in Ontario, Rae is well-spoken, devastatingly intelligent and witty and would give Harper a run for his money. Meanwhile, Ignatieff has spent most of his professional life outside of Canada and I'm not sure he could handle the rough and tumble of being a party leader any better than Dion. Like Dion, Ignatieff is an academic and relates to the world in that way. He would be best suited as Deputy Leader and Minister of Foreign Affairs should the Liberals regain power. But politics is weighed down by egos. Both men want to be top dog and who could blame them.

Biden on Obama: "We're Gonna Have An International Crisis."

At a Democratic fundraiser, V-P running mate Joe Biden cast doubt on an Obama Presidency:

Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.

I can give you at least four or five scenarioes form where it might originate. And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially , it's not gonna be apparent that we're right.

Hold on here. I thought Obama would restore America's reputation in the world. I thought the world loved Obama. Well, this tells me that Biden seems to think Obama needs on the job training. The kind that Biden thought wasn't conducive to the U.S. Presidency.

Can McCain recover this fumble?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rays Stop Red Sox in Game 7 of ALCS

There will be a new World Series Champion in 2008. The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 3-1 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. The Rays advance to their first World Series in franchise history and will host the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 on Wednesday night.

This loss is a little hard to take. It would have been easier had the Rays won Game 5 and put the Sox out of their misery. But with the Red Sox overcoming a 7-0 lead on Thursday and then winning Game 6 last night 4-2 there was reason to believe the Sox would triumph in the ALCS as they had against the New York Yankees in 2004 and the Cleveland Indians in 2007.

The Red Sox got off to 1-0 lead in the first on a solo home run by Dustin Pedroia. They never scored again. Matt Garza pitched into the 8th and only surrendered one other hit apart from the Pedroia home run. The Rays tied the game in the 4th on an Evan Longoria double. Rocco Baldelli drove in the go ahead run with a single in the 5th. It is nice to see Baldelli do well. His career has been plagued by injuries which have been complicated by mitochondrial abnormalities which have rendered him exhausted and unable to play more than a few innings at a time. Baldelli also hit a home run in Game 4 in Boston. That was nice because Baldelli grew up in Rhode Island and got to share the moment with his 10-year-old brother who also has medical problems.

Willy Aybar put the icing on the cake with a solo home run in the 7th. The Rays bullpen which had imploded in Game 5 did its job, especially David Price. With two out and the bases loaded, Price struck out Game 5 hero J.D. Drew to end the inning. Price was the Rays first round draft pick in the June 2007 MLB Draft. A little over a year later he saves the game clincher to win the AL pennant. I think the Rays have found their new closer. After walking Jason Bay, Price struck out Mark Kotsay and Jason Varitek. Pinch hitter Jed Lowrie hit the ball softly to Akinori Iwamura who tagged second base and pocketed the ball. Rays won 3-1.

Give the Rays credit. The implosion they endured in Game 5 and the loss last night would have done in most teams, especially a team of 20-somethings. But they beat the defending World Series Champions and are going to the Fall Classic.

Matt Garza was named the ALCS MVP. He won tonight's game as well as Game 3. Earlier in the season, Garza got into a row with catcher Dioner Navarro and was unable to control his emotions let alone his pitches. Garza, who was acquired in an off-season trade with the Twins along with shortstop Jason Bartlett, certainly got both under control in this post-season.

Yes, I am very disappointed. All the more so having been witness to the miracle of Game 5. But let's look at it this way. People in Boston and New England still celebrate Carlton Fisk's 12th inning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series despite the fact the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series in Game 7. Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS will stand on its own in Red Sox Nation in the same way Game 6 is lauded.

Of course, I predicted the Rays to win the World Series - in 2006. But when the Rays hired Joe Maddon I saw a team going into the right direction. It didn't occur as quickly as I thought but it occurred a lot more quickly than almost anyone outside the Rays organization thought possible.

A Rays-Phillies World Series will be a ratings loser for FOX but it should be a good one. The Rays in six.

A Thought on Powell's Endorsement of Obama

George has written a nice article on the subject. So my comments will be brief.

First, this comes as no surprise. Bill Kristol speculated about this in the summer. It was even thought that Powell would speak at the Democratic National Convention on Obama's behalf. Now that would have made a fascinating spectacle. I'm not suggesting it's less significant now. Far from it. But it would have attracted more viewers if he had done it in Denver. Still, with Buckley, Hitchens and now Powell endorsing Obama does that mean the electorate will follow suit or are they just following the electorate? If it's the latter then McCain is doomed. If it's the former then I'm apt to think voters in Ohio are more in tune with Joe the Plumber than with Colin Powell. Sure, they respect Powell but they identify more intimately with Joe the Plumber. People don't vote for a candidate just because an elite member of society does so. It might add to Obama's standing but if a voter doesn't have a leg on which to stand it doesn't mean that much.

With that, I suppose the liberal media has now forgiven Powell for his presentation to the UN Security Council.

Palin on SNL

I, like millions of other Americans, saw the two Palin bits on SNL last night.

I liked her interaction with Alec Baldwin who was trashing Palin thinking he was standing next to Tina Fey. When Lorne Michaels informed Baldwin it was the genuine article he said that she looked much hotter in person. Palin replied that Stephen Baldwin was her favorite Baldwin.

It is interesting to note that the AP described Palin as "mute."

Some will never be pleased.

Palin return for Weekend Update where she was supposed to do a skit but said she wouldn't but it crossed the line. Amy Poehler did it instead and it was a rap featuring Eskimoes, dancing moose and a faux Todd Palin. Sarah Palin just grooved with it and looked good doing it. I suspect most people will remember that she was there and were happy to see her. Even Democrats.

If SNL gets an Emmy next year they should share it with Palin because she has single handedly revived interest in a long moribund and stagnate show.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Links to Photos of Yours Truly at Fenway

In case there is any doubt I was at Fenway last night here's a link to a photograph taken of me and my friend, Joe Nolan. I am on the left wearing the Sox cap with my hand on my chin holding a pen.

Peggy Noonan's Impalin' Palin

Peggy Noonan holds Sarah Palin in very little regard.

This does not come as a surprise to me. A few days after McCain announced Palin as his running mate, Noonan appeared on MSNBC and while off camera referred to her selection as "political bullsh*@t."

Well, in an article the Wall Street Journal titled "Palin's Failin'", Noonan spreads this idea around. (

Noonan writes, "She was a dope and unqualified from the start."

Tell that to Frank Murkowski. How does a dope defeat a man who served 22 years in the U.S. Senate and the man who was the sitting governor in the GOP Primary in 2006? Tell that to Tony Knowles. How does a dope then go on to defeat a man who served as Governor of Alaska for two terms? Is Noonan suggesting the good people of Alaska are dopes for voting for her? At the very least, Noonan vastly underestimates Palin

Then Noonan compares Palin to Harry Truman:

Mrs. Palin came, essentially, from nowhere. But there was a man who came from nowhere, the seeming tool of a political machine, a tidy, narrow, unsophisticated senator appointed to high office and then thrust into power by a careless Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose vanity told him he would live forever. And yet that limited little man was Harry Truman. Of the Marshall Plan, of containment. Little Harry was big. He had magic. You have to give people time to show what they have. Because maybe they have magic too.

But we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the toolss, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office.

Where does one begin? Well, John McCain sure hold Sarah Palin in higher regard than FDR held Truman. In fact, FDR held Truman in such low regard that when he assumed office in April 1945 upon FDR's death he did not know about the Manhattan Project. The only person who probably held Truman is lower regard than FDR was Truman's own mother-in-law.

Noonan refers to the containment and the Marshall Plan. Yet these policies would not be implemented until March 1947 and July 1947, respectively. That's two years into his Presidency. It's worth remembering that few at the time thought Truman had a chance of being re-elected hence the headline, "Dewey Defeats Truman." Noonan speaks of giving people time yet writes off Palin as a dope after seven weeks. If Noonan was alive in May 1945 I am sure she too would have written him off as a dope and titled her column, "Doomin' Truman."

Noonan complains that "it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite." She's neither. She's Sarah Palin. She can't fill their shoes. She can only fill her own.

Finally, the article turns to Christopher Buckley. She claims "he was shooed from the great magazine his father invented." Nonsense. He offered his resignation from National Review. They accepted. But Noonan doesn't let the facts get in the way of her rhetoric. She writes, "In all this, the conservative intelligentsia are doing what they have done for five years. They bitterly attacked those who came to stand against the Bush Administration." Who are they? I want names, Peggy. Most of the National Review writers spoke of Buckley in the highest regards while offering their respectful disagreement. Jonah Goldberg was typical in his reaction to Buckley's endorsement:

I am a great fan of Christopher's. I am proud to call him my friend and I am grateful for his kindnesses. None of that changes because of his decision to endorse Barack Obama. But I think he's wrong. I would very much like to leave it at that.

So where's the bitterness here? Where's the shooing away that she writes of?

Even so is Christopher Buckley suddenly above criticism? If a conservative endorses Obama over McCain on the basis of (amongst other things) that McCain has changed then that conservative ought to be prepared for criticism. And I put forth my two cents. ( Every time I write an article or a blog I am prepared to be told that I am full of it. That comes with the territory. If Peggy Noonan has something to say about what I've written she is welcome to reply.

McCain is on Joe the Plumber's Side

At a rally in Miami today John McCain stood up for Joe the Plumber after Joe Biden sneered, "I don't have any Joe the Plumbers in my neighborhood who make $250,000 a year and are worried." (

The response from Senator Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe. People are digging through his personal life and he has TV crews camped out in front of his house. He didn't ask for Senator Obama to come to his house. He wasn't recruited or prompted by our campaign. He just asked a question. And Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks.

Right on, John!!! It couldn't have been said any better.

Levi Stubbs, 1936-2008. R.I.P.

Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the Motown group The Four Tops, died today at his home in Detroit. He was 72 years old. Stubbs had been in poor health in recent years. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1995. However, he continued to perform until he was incapacitated by a stroke in 2000.

Suffice it to say, I regret never having seen the Four Tops, particularly Stubbs perform in concert.

The Four Tops came together in 1954 and the original four members - Stubbs, Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton and Abdul "Duke" Fakir remained together for 43 years until Payton's death in 1997. Benson died in 2005. Fakir remains the only surviving member and ironically he was the oldest member of the group.

The Four Tops were at the top of the charts between 1964 and 1967. They are best remembered for such hits as "Reach Out I'll Be There", "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)", "Baby I Need Your Loving", "Standing In The Shadows Love" and "Bernadette". All of those songs were written by the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. However, the Four Tops also went beyond the Motown sound and covered the Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee" and Tim Hardin's "If I Were A Carpenter". Their last hit was "Ain't No Woman Like The One I Got" which was released in 1973.

My favorite Four Tops song is one that wasn't a hit in the U.S. but was a Top 3 hit in Britain in 1971. "A Simple Game" was a collaboration between them and the kings of progressive rock, The Moody Blues. It was originally a Moody Blues song that was re-arranged for the vocal talents of the Four Tops. In additon to arrangements, the Moody Blues also did backing vocals on "A Simple Game." You can listen to it at

PBS Host to Joe the Plumber: Learn To Shut Your Mouth

Bonnie Erbe, who hosts the PBS TV show To The Contrary, wrote a blog on U.S. News & World Report where she is a contributing editor. Erbe writes that Joe Wurzelbacher "had better learn to keep his mouth shut." (


Well, first Joe the Plumber expresses impure thoughts such as, "Social Security is a joke." Erbe might not like his opinion but it is one man's opinion. So anyone who doesn't agree with Erbe's worldview must keep silent?

Second, Erbe tries to connect Wurzelbacher to Charles Keating of the Keating Five fame and thus a McCain stooge.

On what does Erbe base this information? From a blog entry on the hard left The Daily Kos (

So Erbe sees fit to sully Joe the Plumber because he "may be related" to Republican donor Robert Wurzelbacher, the son-in-law of Charles Keating who served time in federal prison for his role in the S&L Scandal for misappropriation of funds. May be related?

So on the basis that Joe the Plumber might be related to Robert Wurzelbacher, Erbe writes, "Keep watching this story because if it proves to be true that "Joe the Plumber" is a wealthy, Republican regular the liberal blogs are claiming he is, the McCain campaign could go down as the most corrupt and inept in history."

Surely, Bonnie Erbe could have exericsed more due diligence here? Joe the Plumber is either related to him or he's not? Even if he is related then what? Does that make him a criminal? And since when is being rich a criminal act? Are Joe's opinions rendered irrelevant and not worth our attention? In the world of elite liberals like Bonnie Erbe, the Joe Wurzelbachers and other average Joes who put in an honest day of work are to be seen and not heared. Might I remind you that it was Obama who approached Wurzelbacher at his home and asked him for his vote. Obama has every right to ask for Joe the Plumber's vote. Joe the Plumber then has the right to ask Obama a question or two. It might be a foreign concept to the liberal media but votes in this country are earned.

But I say this to the liberal media. Keep the heat up on Joe the Plumber. If you insist on smearing Joe the Plumber because he dares to think for himself then Obama could end up squandering a lead bigger than the Tampa Bay Rays did last night and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Miracle at Fenway Park

Tonight I saw the greatest game ever played in the history of Major League Baseball.

Two nights ago I received a message from my friend Joe Nolan to attend Game 5 of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. Although we are polar opposites politically we both a share a passion for baseball, particularly the Boston Red Sox. Joe attended Game 2 of the 1975 World Series between the Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. When he lived in California, he would make a point of seeing the Red Sox when they were in town to play the California Angels as they were then known.

Since moving to Boston in 2000 I have attended 69 games at Fenway Park. But tonight marked the first time I had ever gone to a playoff game. While I was happy to go I had few illusions. After the Sox won Game 1 in Tampa Bay on a combined four hit shutout by Daisuke "Dice-K" Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson and Jonathan Papelbon it had been all Tampa Bay Rays.

The Sox lost a heartbreaker in Game 2 by a score of 9-8 in 11 innings. A sacrifice fly by B.J. Upton off Mike Timlin even the ALCS at one game apiece.

The ALCS resumed here in Boston on Monday. The Rays pounded Jon Lester and Paul Byrd en route to a 9-1 victory in Game 3. Tuesday would fare no better for the Sox as the Rays decimated the Sox 13-4 in Game 4. Tim Wakefield surrendered three homeruns in less than 3 innings of work. The Red Sox had a much needed day off yesterday.

So going into tonight, the Rays were up 3-1 and a victory would have sent them to the World Series against the Phillies. As things got underway it appeared the Rays were well on their way to a rout of the Red Sox en route to a Fall Classic appearance. Dice-K was not effective in Game 5. He gave up a two run home run to B.J. Upton in the top of the 1st to give the Rays a 2-0 lead. In the top of the 3rd, Dice-K surrendered back to back home runs to Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria. The Rays now had a 5-0 lead. Dice-K would be lifted in the 5th inning.

Hideki Okajima pitched two innings of effective relief but the Red Sox offense was lacklustre against Rays starter Scott Kazmir. Originally James Shields had been slated to start Game 5 but Rays manager announced yesterday that he would start Kazmir in Game 5. In Game 2, Kazmir lasted four and one thirds innings and gave up five runs. He allowed three home runs, two of them to Dustin Pedroia and one to Kevin Youkilis although he didn't figure into the decision. Tonight, Kazmir was brilliant. In six innings of work, he gave up no runs and only two hits. While he did walk three batters he also struck out seven.

The Rays appeared to have broke it open in the top of the 7th. Manny Delcarmen began the inning by walking the first two batters he faced. Then Delcarmen appeared to be hurt and suddenly Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon was brought into the game. I know this because the Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" was played in its entirety during his warm up on the mound. Normally, Papelbon wouldn't be brought in with the Sox down five runs but this was the season right here and now. Papelbon gave up a two run double to B.J. Upton to make it 7-0 (the two runs were charged to Delcarmen.)

At this point, the only thing exciting the crowd was a portly middle aged man taking off his shirt and leading the crowd in cheers. I turned to Joe and said, "If I have children or grandchildren, I will not mention this game. Maybe except in passing."

However, after Papelbon intentionally walked Carlos Pena he then induced Evan Longoria to hit into a double play and Carl Crawford ended the inning by grounding out to third baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Enter the Rays bullpen. In years past, it was the team's achilles heel. This year they have the best bullpen in baseball. That is until tonight.

Australian Grant Balfour was brought in to pitch the bottom of the 7th. He gave up a lead off double to Jed Lowrie but retired both Jason Varitek and Mark Kotsay on fly balls to center fielder B.J. Upton. Then Balfour faced Coco Crisp. This might have been the at bat of the game. Crisp, who is the least popular Red Sox player because of his punch up with Rays pitcher James Shields at Fenway last June, kept fouling off pitch after pitch until he singled to make it first and third with two outs. Up came Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox Nation's favored candidate for AL MVP. Pedroia drove in the Sox first run. 7-1 Rays.

David Ortiz has been well known for his clutch home runs. But in this ALCS Big Papi was 1 for 14 with four walks. His one hit was a triple in Game 3. Big Papi isn't exactly fleet of foot. The only way he hits a triple is if it ricochets off the wall or takes a funny bounce. Indeed, I did see Ortiz hit a triple against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 14th. At that time, I was not expecting to see another game at Fenway until next April.

Well, Big Papi hit a three run home run and the Rays lead was cut to 7-4. The Sox were back in the game.

Papelbon came back out to pitch the top of the 8th. He retired all three hitters and struck out Manny Aybar and Gabe Gross. Papelbon might not have recorded a save in this game but he surely saved this game with his pitching.

Between innings, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond was played over the PA as it of every home game in the middle of the 8th. Joe excused himself from the proceedings.

Rays reliever Dan Wheeler began the inning by walking Jason Bay. During Bay's at bat the Fenway faithful began chanting, "Wheeler!!! Wheeler!!!" in mocking unisom. Wheeler then surrendered a two run home run to J.D. Drew. The Rays lead was now cut to 7-6. The chanting became deafening by this point.

Wheeler did retire Jed Lowrie and pinch hitter Sean Casey but Mark Kotsay lined a double to keep the inning alive. The chanting was getting to Wheeler and I wondered why Rays manager Joe Maddon hadn't thought to remove him. Once again, Coco Crisp had another good at bat fouling off pitch after pitch until he a solid single that allowed Kotsay to score. The game was tied 7-7.

I should note that Crisp was thrown out at second when he tried to stretch the single into a double. But no one seemed to care. It went from 7-0 to 7-7. Victory was within sight.

Justin Masterson was brought on to pitch the 9th inning. Masterson was brought up from Pawtucket in mid-season and has both started and relieved. He's a young kid but isn't fazed by pressure. Masterson gave up a single to Josh Bartlett to begin the inning. He did retire Akinori Iwamura on a fly ball but then walked B.J. Upton. But no problem. He bore down and got Carlos Pena to hit into an inning ending double play. It was the second double play the Rays hit into in three innings.

Lefty J.P. Howell was brought in to pitch the bottom of the 9th. Dustin Pedroia hit a ground ball that took a tricky hop but third baseman Evan Longoria picked up the ball and threw out the hustling Pedroia at first. Howell then struck out Big Papi. That left things to Kevin Youkilis.

Now the worst that could have happened was the game would have gone to extra innings. But Youk wanted to end things then and there. He fouled off pitches and took pitches just outside the strike zone. He eventually hit what appeared to be weak ground ball to Longoria but he hesitated with this throw and the ball hit the bag and went into the stands for a throwing error. Youk was awarded second base.

Jason Bay had an opportunity to show the world why the Sox rid themselves of Manny Ramirez. But the Rays had other ideas. Howell intentionally walked Bay so he could face J.D. Drew who homered the previous inning. By this time, the fans were chanting "Howell! Howell!" although it didn't have same ring as Wheeler.

This was my 70th game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox were down 7-0 and had tied the game 7-7. It was all up to Drew whose number on the back of his uniform is, what else, 7.

Drew hit a drive that surged over the head of Rays right fielder Gabe Gross and Youkilis made a mad dash for home. Red Sox won 8-7. I screamed myself hoarse in a way I haven't done in years. Rarely I have ever experienced such pure unadulterated joy.

Not only was this the greatest game I had ever witnessed either in person or transmitted by television or radio but it was the greatest game ever played in the history of Major League Baseball.

Remember what I said about not telling any children or grandchildren I should ever about this game? I take it back.

Joe and I were meant to be at this game to witness this miracle. Was it sparked by the fat man who removed his shirt? Or by the fans who chanted, "Wheeler!" "Wheeler!"? Yes and by a thousands of other things in the stands, on the field and beyond.

In 2004, the Red Sox won the ALCS after being down 3-0 against the New York Yankees and went on to win their first World Series in 86 years. In 2007, the Red Sox won the ALCS after being down 3-1 against the Cleveland Indians and went on to win another World Series. Can they do it again?

As Joe said, "Summer is still with us." The Red Sox will travel to St. Pete to face the Rays in Game 6. The odds of winning two straight at Tropicana Field are against them but they have survived worse odds. Such as being down 7-0 in the 7th inning.

Even if the Sox don't prevail we will always have Game 5 and I will always have my memories witnessed first hand.

If no one understood why I love baseball so much I think you will all understand now.

Sleep peacefully. Goodnight.

Liberal Media Going After Joe The Plumber

Byron York is an oracle.

York, blogging on National Review Online's The Corner, at 12:13 p.m. EST wrote:

I don't know anything about Joe Wurzelbacher, but I just have one bit of advice. If you have anything in your past that you're not proud of - a messy divorce, a DUI, an upaid bill, an indiscreet comment, whatever - be prepared for it to become public knowledge. The lefty blogosphere, along with allies in the press, will see to that.

Well, we didn't have to wait long did we?

At 3:58 p.m. (exactly three hours and forty five minutes later) comes out with a story that Wurzelbacher owes nearly $1,200 in back taxes to the state of Ohio. The lien was filed in January 2007. ( There's your unpaid bill.

The article goes on to argue that Joe The Plumber won't pay that much more in taxes under Obama's plan if he buys the plumbing business suggesting that Wurzelbacher was talking about gross sales rather than taxable income. The insinuation here is that the plumber not only doesn't pay his tax bill but he's too dumb to understand that life will get better in Obama's socialist paradise.

Now one can argue that Joe The Plumber should have exercised due dilligence in this matter. But then again there's two sides to every story but trying telling that to the liberal media. After all, would anyone outside of Lucas County have given a fig about Joe The Plumber's tax bill if he hadn't posed his question to Obama.

What bothers me here is that one must wonder if this is a sign of things to come in America under an Obama White House. If you dare to ask a tough question of The Anointed One his acolytes and the liberal media will turn your life upside down and inside out up and to interviewing people with whom you attended grade school to see if you ever took someone's lunch money.

My hope here is that the public will be angry not with Joe The Plumber but with the heavy handedness of the liberal media going all Palin on him and take it out on Obama.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Phillies Win NLCS

The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 to win the National League Championship Series.

This marks the first time the Phillies have reached the World Series since 1993 when they fell to the Toronto Blue Jays when Joe Carter hit the walk off home run off Mitch Williams in Game 6.
It is the sixth time the Phillies have reached the World Series (1915, 1950, 1980, 1983 & 1993). Their only World Series title was in 1980 when they bested the Kansas City Royals in six games.

The Phillies took control of the NLCS in Game 1 when they came back from a 2-0 deficit on home runs by Chase Utley and Pat Burrell. Cole Hamels pitched seven strong innings with Brad Lidge earning the save.

In Game 2, the Phillies scored 4 runs in the second and third innings to take an 8-2 lead. Manny Ramirez would make it close with a three run home run in the 4th but Manny couldn't do it alone. Phillies won 8-5.

Their only loss was in Game 3 when the series went to Los Angeles. Phillies starter Jamie Moyer got tagged for six runs in just over an inning pitched. Dodgers won 7-2.

In Game 4, the Dodgers had a 5-3 lead into the 8th inning. But the bullpen gave up home runs to Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs. It gave the Phillies a 7-5 lead and they never looked back. It was nice to see a low key Canadian like Stairs have his moment in the sun after 17 years in the majors without a post-season appearance.

Tonight, Cole Hamels put in another dominant performance. It was enough for Hamels to be named the NLCS MVP.

As for the Dodgers they had a hell of a run in Joe Torre's first year at the helm. But I suspect Manny Ramirez will be in a Yankees uniform in 2009. The Dodgers didn't have to pay him in 2008 but will in 2009. Can the Dodgers afford $20 million?

The Phillies will face either the Rays or Red Sox in the 2008 World Series beginning on Wednesday. As of now, the Rays have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS. The Rays could clinch in Game 5 tomorrow night. I should note that I have been offered a ticket to this game and unless I am mauled by wolves I will be attending possibly the last game of the year at Fenway Park. It's do or die. Either way I'll be rooting for them until the last out.

McCain-Obama III

I missed the beginning of the debate. So I missed the part where McCain told Obama and I'm paraphrasing, "I'm not President Bush. You should have run four years ago." While that got a pop McCain played into Obama's mantra which has defined him as another four years of President Bush. Obama was able to say if he was confused it was because McCain voted with Bush almost every time.

McCain got a few punches when he mentioned Joe Wurzelbacher, the plumber from Toledo, Ohio who confronted Obama about his tax policy the other day. When Wurzelbacher asked Obama if he would raise his taxes Obama said he wasn't looking to raise taxes but rather "spread the wealth." McCain spoke about Joe the Plumber on taxes and health care and that was McCain at his best. It's too bad Joe the Plumber wasn't debating Obama tonight.

Even when McCain landed some good punches Obama absorbed them. When debating free trade, McCain asked Obama how he could oppose free trade with our ally Colombia and yet be willing to sit across the table from our enemy Hugo Chavez without precondition. If McCain had said Ahmadinejad it would have packed more of a punch. Does Joe the Plumber know who Hugo Chavez is? Or for that matter Bill Ayers or ACORN?

When McCain assailed Obama about John Lewis' remarks Obama distanced himself from Lewis and said it wasn't about McCain or Obama but about the American people. McCain did well against Obama on education with respect to vouchers but it was the last question of the night so I wonder if people had tuned out by that point.

McCain had to either knock out Obama or leave him bruised and bloodied. He did neither.

The only way Obama loses is if Joe The Plumber endorses McCain. That's assuming he doesn't decide to vote for Obama. Failing that McCain would need bin Laden to make an audiotape welcoming an Obama Administration.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Conservatives Re-Elected in Canada

After watching the Red Sox get decimated by the Rays again, I watched C-SPAN simulcast the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's coverage of the Canadian federal election.

Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have been re-elected albeit with another minority government. Harper wanted to obtain a majority in the House of Commons although the Conservatives did gain nearly 20 seats. As of this writing here are the results:

Conservatives 143
Liberals 78
Bloc Quebecois 48
NDP 37
Independents 2

When the election was called I wrote here that the odds favored the Tories but that Harper was taking a risk if he didn't win a majority government. Well, along came the global economic crisis. It might have cost him his majority but as mentioned earlier he gained nearly 20 seats gaining in Ontario and in Western Canada despite not gaining ground in Quebec and Newfoundland.

The biggest loser tonight was Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion. The Liberals have lost 23 seats. Yes, the economy doesn't help incumbents but Dion insisted on talking about the environment and implementing a carbon tax. Yes, that really appeals to forestry workers afraid of losing their jobs.

Dion is now destined to become the first Liberal Party leader not to become Prime Minister since Edward Blake in the late 1800s. The Liberals are supposed to have a leadership review convention next May but I believe Dion will bow out before then. His potential successors? Former Ontario Premier Bob Rae, former Harvard Prof Michael Ignatieff, former Ontario Cabinet Minister Gerard Kennedy and perhaps Hall of Fame NHL goalie and one time Liberal Cabinet Minister Ken Dryden. I think Rae and Ignatieff appeal to the same constituency so someone like Dryden could sneak up the middle in the way that Dion did when he won the party leadership in December 2006. One thing for sure the next Liberal leader will not be from Quebec.

When the Liberals do poorly in elections there is some benefit to the NDP. The NDP gained 7 seats winning its second highest total ever. The NDP's best showing was in 1988 when they won 43 seats. It appears the NDP might win its first ever seat from Quebec in a general election (they have won seats in by-elections only to lose them in general elections).

The Green Party showed gains in the popular vote but won no seats. Its leader Elizabeth May was soundly defeated in a Nova Scotia constituency held by Tory Cabinet Minister Peter MacKay. Perhaps May shouldn't be running in a safe Tory seat if she wants to get a foothold in Parliament.

Although all things considered many Canadians are more interested in our elections. Voter turnout is pegged at 57% - the lowest in Canadian history. Although compared to turnout here it's astounding. However, this is the third time Canadians have gone to the polls since 2004. There is a new law in Canada that calls for fixed elections. So the next election is scheduled for October 15, 2012. But with yet another minority parliament it would not be unexpected to go to the polls in either 2010 or 2011.

All things considered it was a good night for the Conservatives in Canada. No majority government but it is a result that is acceptable and workable. Hey, if Obama wins perhaps we'll see an influx of conservatives moving north of the 49th. But if you're going to move from Arizona to Alberta be sure to bring a winter jacket and long underwear.

Monday, October 13, 2008

One More Thought on Hitchens

I wonder if Christopher Hitchens will ask for his job back at The Nation?

Hitchens Endorses Obama; Smears McCain-Palin

For most of the past decade, Christopher Hitchens has been on our side. This began after September 11, 2001 when he debated the likes of Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, Katha Pollitt, Michael Moore and George Galloway concerning left-wing attitudes to Islamic fundamentalism. His disaffection with the Left post-9/11 prompted him to resign as a contributor to The Nation. Hitchens has been labeled by some as a neo-conservative although he never accepted the label. He has acknowledged that he is agreement with neo-conservatives on some matters but states such an alliance is temporary.

Well, this alliance has to come to end with his endorsement of Barack Obama. ( Whether you agree or disagree with Hitchens, his writing is compelling. But his vote for Obama is not so much an endorsement of him as it is a litany of smears against McCain and Palin. It's the sort of thing you would expect on The Daily Kos or The Democratic Underground. For instance, Hitchens writes that McCain is "someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarassing deficit, both cognitive and physical."

Gee, perhaps someone forgot to tell Hitchens that McCain spent nearly six years in a box in the Hanoi Hilton and had nearly every bone in his body broken.

Yet Hitchens spares his deepest scorn for Palin who he describes as a "deceiving and unscrupulous woman", "a national disgrace" and complains about "her bizarre religious & political affiliations." Of course, Hitchens is an avowed atheist with a strong disdain for organized religion. Sure, he is willing to be critical of Islam but he criticizes Evangelicals with the same zeal even though they don't go about beheading people they deem to be heathens. He chides Palin for stating "falsehoods" about Obama's position on Afghanistan. All Palin did was quote Obama who said U.S. troops in Afghanistan were doing nothing "but air raiding villages and killing civilians" as if U.S. troops in Afghanistan were to blame for the troubles in that country bred al Qaeda and the Taliban.

While Hitchens considers Obama "overrrated" he is quite comfortable with him and Biden on the basis that the Democratic ticket is "not a capitulationist one." What part of meeting Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez "without preconditions" doesn't Hitchens understand? Lest we forget Biden wanted to give Iran $200 million as a good will gesture after September 11, 2001, something you'd think Hitchens would recall.

McCain in Fighting Mode, I Hope

After stating that Americans had nothing to fear from an Obama Presidency, John McCain is finding his fighting spirit.

Yesterday, he told his volunteers he was going to whip Obama's "you know what" in Wednesday's third debate. It's the right thing to say. If I had just told voters they had nothing to fear if my opponent were elected what is the point of my volunteers committing their time and energy for me? I just finished watching C-SPAN's coverage of a speech he gave in Virginia Beach. It wasn't anything he said in particular but the tone of the speech is different than what we've normally seen. Remember when McCain got energized at the end of his acceptance speech at the RNC? That was what this speech was like from start to finish.

I just hope McCain can sustain this energy not only in the debate with Obama but in his appearance on Letterman the following night. Letterman has been giving McCain jazz about cancelling an appearance on his show last month. Ironically, McCain announced the launch of his Presidential bid on Letterman in March 2007.

Optimally, McCain needs to knock out Obama. At the very minimum, he must leave Obama bloodied and battered. Or force him to make a mistake. The bottom line is that McCain must raise doubts about Obama's ability to lead and the soundness of his judgment. If Bill Ayers is discussed, McCain should also discuss John Lewis and ask Obama if he thinks he agrees with Lewis' comparison of him and Palin to George Wallace. He's got to keep up the pressure on Obama.

McCain should also put up his dukes with Letterman as well if Letterman gets snarky with him. If McCain does well on Wednesday an appearance on Letterman could reinforce such strength especially if he gives as good as he gets from Letterman.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Great post on AFP conference by UIC

From the funniest blogger at the conference (who has my last name wrong, but since he knew the title of two articles I've written and the year I wrote them, he's forgiven).

NY Times Tells Palin to Puck Off

The New York Times is objecting to Sarah Palin having dropped the puck at last night's Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers game. Their hockey writer, Lynn Zinser, writes, "the question has been raised....whether to appearance was appropriate at a sports event like this." (

Funny, I don't recall the NYT or any others in the liberal media questioning the propriety of John Kerry throwing out the first pitch the week of the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Kerry threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox-Yankees game on July 25, 2004. ( It was at this game that Kerry said his favorite Red Sox player was "Manny Ortez." Kerry managed to appoxy David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez.

The only objections the NYT has to Sarah Palin dropping the first puck is that she is Sarah Palin and that she is a conservative Republican.

Widget: your 401K under Obama

North Korea Removed From State Dep't Terrorism List

Effective immediately, North Korea has been removed from the U.S. State Department's list of nations that sponsor terrorism. In exchange for this removal, North Korea agrees to allow full inspections of their nuclear facilities including Yongbyon. The North Koreans had been reactivating Yongbyon when it accused the U.S. of reneging on a promise to remove it from the terrorism list after an agreement by the six nations involved was reached in June. The U.S. had contended the North Koreans had not taken steps to allow inspectors to verify their claims of disarmament. Now the U.S. has dropped these demands despite the fact we don't know if Kim Jong-Il is still alive.

In twenty years, we have gone from "trust but verify" to "trust at face value."

North Korea is about as likely to allow full inspections of nuclear facilities as its ally Robert Mugabe is to share power in Zimbabwe.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mugabe Rips Up Power Sharing Agreement

The power sharing agreement between Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC appears to be done. This after the Zimbabwean strongman unilaterally appointed ZANU-PF to all government ministries despite an agreement to give most of the ministries to the MDC reflecting their narrow majority in last March's parliamentary elections.

Of course, this development comes as no surprise. Robert Mugabe will honor no agreement that diminishes his power as Zimbabwe's President for Life.

Yes, things are bad in the American economy. But it could be worse. Imagine living in a land where inflation is near a million per cent, there are chronic shortages of food and medicine, AIDS is rampant and life expectancy is 35 years of age. This is Zimbabwe in a nutshell.

Lewis Compares McCain-Palin to George Wallace

Georgia Democratic Representative and civil rights icon John Lewis has likened John McCain and Sarah Palin to George Wallace and segregation. (

Senator McCain and Governor Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created a climate and the condition that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

Good grief. If you read my newest article, "Obama's False Ayers", I ask that if McCain had been assisted in his political campaigns in Arizona by someone involved with bombing churches in Alabama would Obama and his cohorts in the liberal press let it slide. Well, there is no such person in McCain's life and yet John Lewis sees fit to liken McCain and Palin to someone who set bombs. Yet Obama is associated with someone who has set a bomb.

While Obama spokesman Bill Burton was quick to distance themselves from the reference to George Wallace he nonetheless said that Lewis was right to criticize "hateful rhetoric" (though the hateful rhetoric was never specified) and lambasted Palin for saying Obama was "palling around with terrorists" (despite the fact that Obama did, in fact, pal around with Bill Ayers.)

So in other words, the Obama campaign has no problem with Lewis comparing McCain and Palin with a bomber even though only Obama has ever actually associated with one.

John McCain should have told the Obama campaign he would have been perfectly happy to call on his supporters to be respectful of Obama just as soon as Obama and his surrogates were respectful of him and Sarah Palin.

Did McCain Endorse Obama?

Say it ain't so, John. Say it ain't so.

Did John McCain endorse Barack Obama for President?

When speaking at a rally in Minnesota, McCain called on the audience to be respectful of Obama but was jeered for his trouble.

"I want to be President of the United States and I don't want Obama to be," said McCain, "But I have to tell you...he is a decent person and a person you don't have to be scared as President of the United States."

Doesn't it scare McCain that Obama is willing to talk to Ahmadinejad without precondition? Well, it sure as hell scares me and a lot of other people. Doesn't it scare McCain that Obama associates with unrepentant terrorists like Bill Ayers? Well, it sure as hell scares me and a lot of other people. Doesn't it scare McCain that Obama will withdraw troops from Iraq resulting in the deaths of millions of innocent civilians? Well, it sure as hell scares me and a lot of other people.

If we have nothing to fear from an Obama White House then why run against him at all? He's either fit to be President or he's not fit to be President.

I understand McCain's desire for civility but civility is a two way street. It would be nice if Obama's supporters refrained from comparing him and Sarah Palin to George Wallace. McCain can fight in a respectful manner but that is rather difficult to do so when he is being hit below the belt.

Compilation of coverage of the AFP conference

I've tried to compile most of the coverage on the web among the blogs of the AFP conference. Faustus has quite a few posts on the conference, including pictures, a Fox News clip, and coverage of John Fund's specialty on voter fraud and Acorn. The Republic of Dave has a good discussion of what it was like for bloggers at the conference. Pete from Arizona posting on Sonoran Alliance discussed AZ AFP Director's criticism of Governor Napolitano. SWAC Girl posted some pics from the rally at the Capitol. Maggie Thurber of Thurber's Thoughts was awarded the AFP blogger of the year, which was well-deserved considering she's probably posted more about the conference than any of the rest of us bloggers. Independent Political Report has posted a couple s der's look at the bloggers. The Heritage Foundation posted a blog about conservatism's foray into the blog world. Human Events ran a full story on the conference, focusing on the Tribute to Reagan dinner. Conservatives with Attitude/ has been steadily blogging throughout the conference. Here's a link to some pictures from the conference. Here's even more. Aakash of University blog has some of the most humorous posts.

Now this is kinda funny, bloggers taking videos of other bloggers blogging from Fort Hard Knox who is using Web 2.0.

Pictures from Americans for Prosperity conference

Tom, Rach & Pete

Some of the AZ delegation

AFP: George Will & Dinesh D'Souza: slamming the bailout

At the AFP Tribute to Ronald Reagan dinner last night, speakers included George Will, Dinesh D'Souza, and Ed Meese. Will gave a damning critique of the bailout. People are treating their homes as ATMs (with their lines of credit and 2nd mortgages). The pain of debt has been separated from buying through credit. The welfare state has bred a state of entitlement to security. This is incompatible with a free market society. Originally, government bailouts were meant only to be utilized in case of systemic threats to society. Then we bailed out the three major automakers. Uh, why? It was "Lemon socialism." Essentially finding the losers and subsidizing them! The saying in Washington goes: "If it moves, tax it, if it keeps moving, regulate it, if it stops, subsidize it." Everyone is lining up like Oliver Twist with their hand out. We need to pass George Will's law - No executive of a company receiving a federal handout can receive more than a civil servant's salary.

Healthcare: We can be like Canada where everything is free and nothing is available. We don't have a "healthcare crisis," we have people engaging in risky behavior who have brought things like lung cancer, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes on themselves. Our kids are fat because the trial lawyers have sued to remove the teeter totters and jungle bars out of the playgrounds.

There has been an erosion of the idea of personal responsibility. Barack Obama says he's going to give a tax cut to 95% of the population. Well 38% of the population doesn't pay taxes. So Obama is going to create a new entitlement to give more money to that 38%.

Will Rogers once said the difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets. We need to give the free makrket some time to work. We're not in a "manufacturing crisis." We make as much steel as we did years ago, just with fewer workers. If we have a crisis in manufacturing, then we have one in agriculture as well. We have even fewer workers producing food, yet we still produce as much. When President Lincoln made his only mistake, creating a Bureau of Agriculture, there was 1 bureaucrat for every 220,000 farmers. Today, there is 1 bureaucreat for every 19 farms. There is a joke about an agriculture bureaucrat crying at work, because his farmer just died.

The difference between the Republicans and Democrats is the Republicans value freedom and its risks over equality and security. They are willing to accept greater inequalities in order to prioritize freedom. The good news currently is that neither of the two presidential candidates are advocating rolling back the great advances made under Reagan.

Ask not what your government can do for you, but what you can do for your government - this means you reserve a spacious portion of your life for which government isn't responsible. Right now you can put together any combination of letters and it will spell out the acronym for some government agency.

Next Dinesh D'Souza spoke about the differences between Republicans and Democrats. He said he explained to his grandma living in India that there are two political parties in the U.S.: the stupid party and the evil party. The evil party is the Democrats, and the stupid party is the Republicans. Put stupid and evil together and you get bipartisanship.

JFK made it noble to go into civil service by joining the peace corps. Reagan changed all that, making the entrepreneur, not the civil servant, the embodiment of the American ideal. Once when Sam Donaldson was interviewing Reagan, he asked, "You blame Congress, the Democrats, and lobbyists for our budget problems. Do you share any of that blame? Reagan responded, "Yes, I used to be a Democrat." D'Souza ended with an old Indian saying about hard work, "After crossing the mountain, more mountains."