Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Sox win!

I just watched and/or slept while Boston played Baltimore tonight. I was surprised that they didn't bring in Foulke for the save! Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with Johnny Damon and I hope he feels better in the week to come.

I support Senator Evan Bayh in 2008. Do you?
Many military families don’t know that they’re protected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act from foreclosure and eviction, so they don’t fight the notices they receive, said Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana.

At the same time, financial institutions are either ignoring the law or claiming they are unaware of its existence, Bayh said.

Aiming to safeguard soldiers’ homes, Bayh is introducing the Servicemembers Home Protection Act of 2005. It would levy fines against financial institutions that ignore the law against foreclosing on soldiers and would educate families about their rights.

With active-duty tours lasting longer than any in the past 50 years, an increasing number of military families are facing economic difficulties ranging from inability to pay grocery bills to outright bankruptcy, Bayh said.

Bayh’s new bill attempts to help in three ways:

• Requiring the Department of Defense to develop an educational outreach program for military families during the process of mobilization.

• Enacting a series of fines to be levied against financial institutions that violate the protection offered to military families. Financial services regulators would have the authority to levy these fines.

• Including information on military families’ rights on notices required during the foreclosure process to ensure that families are aware of their protected status.
Darn right!

Chevy Chase delivered an important message to Princeton graduates: "I'm Chevy Chase...and you're not." Not really, but wouldn't that be a great speech?
"Should I have words of wisdom for you?" asked Mr. Chase, who delivered the keynote address at Princeton's Class Day event held on Cannon Green on the university campus. "I'm not sure a movie actor would have words of wisdom for students from the No. 1 university in the world except — use ointment. Or if you're going blind, you are doing it right."
The comedian and actor began his address by hamming it up. He spoke in several unintelligible languages, one of which vaguely resembled Japanese.
"I don't know what a keynote address is," he said. "I didn't know what I was supposed to do, sing?" He intoned a musical note and invited his listeners to hold it with him: "Whoever holds it the longest gets key to my S600," referring to his Mercedes-Benz sedan.
Explaining his apparent lack of preparation for his address, Mr. Chase said he forgot to bring his speech with him. He said that as he was packing to come to Princeton, "There was the speech on the edge of the bathtub. You know where it is now? On the edge of the bathtub."
But in the midst of the humor Monday morning, Mr. Chase found time to offer the Class of 2005 some real advice, which had to do with — what else? — humor. He said he once asked his father what the most important quality in humans is.
"He said, 'a sense of humor,'" the comedian said. "A sense of humor is a sense of perspective. It's a way of gauging what's important in life, and which is less important. If you don't have a sense of humor, you're going to go through life with pimples on your back, and have a heart attack at the age of 30."
He said of humor, "It's a way of gauging what's important and what's mindless." He also advised the graduates to take some time to think: "That's the most important thing you can do. Take time to think after graduation. You deserve to have the time to settle in and think a little bit."
Sounding a political note, Mr. Chase, an honorary member of the class he was addressing, said the graduates could go into computers or study law — "Or you might join the armed forces and kill somebody. Or rappel from a helicopter. Or you might go into politics, get into a position to have others killed for you. Or pretend to find WMDs. Play some golf. And always remember: pronounce it 'nuclear.'
"I wish I had a real piece of wisdom to give you," Mr. Chase said, but he suggested it was unnecessary given that the people he said he's met at Princeton have struck him as so "bright," "articulate" and "really way ahead of me."
In closing, the comedian said, "I'm very proud of all of you. I'm proud to be considered a member of your class. I wish you all the best. Of all the things in life I would suggest — keep laughing, keep a sense of humor, and keep things in perspective. God bless all of you."
More than 5,000 people attended Class Day on Monday morning, not including those who watched the event's simulcast.[...]
Dr. Tilghman also was named an honorary member of Princeton's Class of 2005. The other honorary members were Mr. Chase; actor Ben Stiller, who recently spoke at Princeton; Charles H. Jones, a dining-services employee at the university; and Donald M. Betterton, director of undergraduate financial aid at Princeton.
Mr. Chase was selected by leaders of the senior class from among nominees suggested by classmates. "We watched Mr. Chase throughout our formative years, with his movies becoming part of our collective memory and shared sense of humor," one of the class speakers said Monday.
The actor and comedian is one of the founding members of television's Saturday Night Live. He worked behind the scenes as a writer and in front of the camera as the "Weekend Update" anchor, earning Emmy awards in both writing and acting for his efforts.
After Saturday Night Live, Mr. Chase moved on to Hollywood, where he starred in films including Caddyshack, the National Lampoon's Vacation series, the Fletch series and Three Amigos. Mr. Chase was valedictorian of his high school class and a graduate of Bard College, the class speaker said.
His father graduated from Princeton in the 1940s, and his sister was the first female valedictorian at the university in the 1970s. His daughter has also attended Princeton, speakers said.
So Princeton is in Chase's blood. He was just in Kentucky earlier this month.

The Red Sox have sold out 166 games in a row. That's 3rd in MLB history. Boston and Cincy have not been shut out all season long. Johnny Damon needs to runs for 1,000.

A Bush dynasty, you want? Impossible to see, the future is.
Florida Governor Jeb Bush has repeatedly said he does not plan to run for president in 2008, trying to dampen speculation that another Bush could be on the next Republican ticket for the White House.

In an interview on CNN's Larry King Live, former Bush said he would want Jeb to run for president "someday," but now was not the time.

"The timing's wrong. The main thing is, he doesn't want to do it. Nobody believes that," Bush said.

But he and wife Barbara both said they believed Jeb, 52, did not want to run in the next presidential race.

Bush said he did not have a favorite candidate for the Republican nomination to succeed his son, President Bush.

Barbara Bush said she believed Senator and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the Democratic nominee in the 2008 presidential race. "I'm not going to vote for her, but I'm betting on her," she said.
I think that'll do for now.

Mark W. Felt, 91, is Deep Throat

The Washington Post has confirmed that Mark W. Felt, 91, is Deep Throat. I guess I'd be lying if I said my money was on Lieberman. My money was on Ben Stein.
The Washington Post today confirmed that W. Mark Felt, a former number-two official at the FBI, was "Deep Throat," the secretive source who provided information that helped unravel the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s and contributed to the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon.

Woodward said Felt helped The Post at a time of tense relations between the White House and much of the FBI hierarchy. He said the Watergate break-in came shortly after the death of legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Felt's mentor, and that Felt and other bureau officials wanted to see an FBI veteran promoted to succeed Hoover.

Felt himself had hopes that he would be the next FBI director, but Nixon instead appointed an administration insider, assistant attorney general L. Patrick Gray, to the post.

Bradlee, in an interview this afternoon, said that knowing that "Deep Throat" was a high-ranking FBI official helped him feel confident about the information that the paper was publishing about Watergate. He said that he knew the "positional identity" of "Deep Throat" as the Post was breaking its Watergate stories and that he learned his name within a couple of weeks after Nixon's resignation.

"The number-two guy at the FBI, that was a pretty good source," he said. "I knew the paper was on the right track," Bradlee said. The "quality of the source" and the soundness of his guidance made him sure of that, he said.

"We made only one mistake ..... and that had nothing to do with 'Deep Throat,'." Bradlee said, referring to an error in reporting grand jury testimony.

Bradlee said that over the years, "it was interesting to watch people flounder around with odd choices" about the identity of "Deep Throat," a nickname borrowed from the title of a pornographic film. Although he knew the source's identity, Bradlee said, "I've never met Felt. I wouldn't know him if I fell on him."

In a family statement released today, Felt's grandson, Nick Jones, said, "The family believes my grandfather, Mark Felt Sr., is a great American hero who went well above and beyond the call of duty at much risk to himself to save his country from a horrible injustice." The statement added, "We all sincerely hope the country will see him this way as well."

Jones said in the statement, "My grandfather is pleased he is being honored for his role as 'Deep Throat' with his friend Bob Woodward. As he recently told my mother, 'I guess people used to think "Deep Throat" was a criminal, but now they think he was a hero.'"

The Vanity Fair article, by California attorney John D. O'Connor, described Felt as conflicted over his role in the Watergate revelations and over whether he should publicly reveal that he was the anonymous source whose identity has been a closely guarded secret for more than three decades.

"On several occasions he confided to me, 'I'm the guy they used to call "Deep Throat,".'." O'Connor wrote. The author wrote that Felt "still has qualms about his actions, but he also knows that historic events compelled him to behave as he did: standing up to an executive branch intent on obstructing his agency's pursuit of the truth."

The article concluded, "Felt, having long harbored the ambivalent emotions of pride and self-reproach, has lived for more than 30 years in a prison of his own making, a prison built upon his strong moral principles and his unwavering loyalty to country and cause. But now, buoyed by his family's revelations and support, he need feel imprisoned no longer."
So there you have it, it's been 33 years in the making and we finally know who Deep Throat is.

Tuesday Tuesday

So good to me...

The Murray family. They are a funny one for sure.
Doyle-Murray used the experiences the brothers had working at a golf course when he co-wrote Caddyshack.

And Laura Murray said she and her siblings were shocked when noogies appeared on Saturday Night Live.

"We just couldn't believe it. I mean [Bill] was just in the kitchen giving use those, and now there he is suddenly doing it on national television."

The Murray kids--all nine of them--grew up in Wilmette.
Natalie Portman to be on Big Brother. I don't live down under but I despise reality tv.

Whoa, my earliest post since the semester ended!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Happy Memorial Day

Hope every one had a safe and happy Memorial Day. I spent it watching Faith of my Fathers. I was saddened to watch what Senator McCain went through but I hope every American that has cable watched it because they need to. Ignorance is wrong. Torture is wrong. Senator McCain is an American hero who should have been the 2000 GOP nominee.

Anyway, all that aside, Senator Lieberman addressed Jewish graduates at a day school in Louisiana. A day school? College is one thing but a day school?!?
"Graduation is a combination of history and hope," Lieberman said. "You celebrate today your own history and your connection to the long history of the Jewish people."

Lieberman, a three-term senator from Connecticut and observant Orthodox Jew, has two granddaughters, Willie, a kindergartener, and Tennessee, a second-grader, at the school, which started in 1996. The children, who have been at the school for a year, are moving with their parents to Georgia, where the senator's son Matthew will take over as head of Greenfield Hebrew Academy, a Jewish day school in Atlanta.

Known as a passionate advocate for Jewish education, Lieberman told the 10 graduating eighth-graders -- eight girls and two boys -- that they follow in the footsteps of such pioneers as Abraham, father of the Jewish people; Nachshon, the Biblical figure who first set foot in the parted sea; Jewish immigrants to the United States; and Zionist leader Theodore Herzl.

"You are uniquely prepared to go out into the world," Lieberman said. "You have learned Jewish history, you have learned Jewish values, and you have accepted responsibility for the Jewish mission."

As the rain beat down on the roof of the Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus, Lieberman gestured toward the heavens, exclaiming, "Enough, already," one of many cracks during his otherwise meditative keynote address. Earlier, as he took to the podium amid copious hand-clapping, he said, "I accept your nomination," a likely reference to his failed candidacy for U.S. vice president in 2000 and last year's unsuccessful bid for president.

Later, by inviting applause for the school's students, staff and parents, Lieberman tapped into the day's sentiment.[...]

Repeating words he heard 45 years ago at his high school graduation, Lieberman delivered this well-known statement: "Keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the sky."
Okay, the guilt is kicking in. I wouldn't have been so harsh had I known of the family connections. I have family in Louisiana. I wonder if they know them.

Boston finally returned to Fenway Park to some sad news: they were creamed. Happy Birthday to Manny Ramirez and Wynonna Judd. Don't forget the late Mel Blanc!

Jim Edmonds hit another home run on Sunday! If you play fantasy baseball, now's a good time to pick him up! I play fantasy sports on The Sporting News. All because of an advertisement I saw in 1999 on the Yankees website for Small World.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Weekend Update

SNL aired The Best of Alec Baldwin last night. I predicted they would show the monologue from when Paul McCartney was the musical guest. Some sketches were predictable and reminded me of the days when SNL was funny!

Politically speaking, Kentucky is in a mess. This is why I decided, ultimately, to stay out of politics. There's too much corruption. I'm not talking about Star Wars when I say that either!

The Red Sox blew out the Yankees yesterday with a score of 17-1 with 27 hits!

Friday marked the first day that the St. Louis Cardinals took on a team from Washington, DC in their 113-year-old history. Jeff Suppan is a mensch. He is donating $50 for every strikeout to Intrepid Fallen Heroes. Cardinals care will match Suppan's donations.

Patrick Swayze did attempt to save Chris Farley. Unsuccessful. There was too much of John Belushi in him.
Swayze and Farley became unlikely friends when they teamed up for a famous dancing skit on comedy show Saturday Night Live, and the actor knew the comic was headed for a tragedy - but could do nothing about it.

Swayze recalls, "Chris and I got to be really close. It broke my heart when he died. "I actually saw him the night before he died and I tried to talk to him but he was in that kind of moment, gone, not here.

"That's the scary part about stardom; it can take you down dark places...You're paid to go to these dark places and you should have guidance to go there.

"You use characters to try to work your way through it but when you come out on the other side you're a much bigger person hopefully."
Farley was only 33 when he died in 1997.

Backstage profiles Danielle Panabaker. She is a very talented actress.
It's become cliche to talk about how young actors seem wise beyond their years, but Danielle Panabaker is living proof that sometimes old chestnuts ring true. When viewing her performance in the HBO miniseries Empire Falls (beginning Sat., May 28), one is immediately taken by her preternatural talent as she portrays sensitive teen Tick Roby, the beloved daughter of a divorcing couple played by Ed Harris and Helen Hunt. The film was shot in the fall of 2003, when Panabaker was only 15 years old, and the actor more than holds her own against her famous onscreen parents and an impressive cast that also includes Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Robin Wright Penn.[...]

Panabaker and her family moved to Los Angeles three years ago, after she and her sister Kay (a regular on the WB's series Summerland) convinced their parents they should pursue acting full time. There was little doubt the two were serious about their work. "The first year we were here, we were taking acting classes seven days a week," she says. "We took them from anyone who would accept us. We spent our days doing school, afternoons auditioning, and evenings going to class." She still tries to take classes when she has time, citing Marnie Cooper and Warner Laughlin as two local favorites. She adds that she also took something away from the bad classes. "You can always learn something," she notes. "Maybe it's a technique you don't like; maybe it's a style. But you learn different things."

Up next for Panabaker are two big Hollywood films: In this summer's Sky High, she plays a superhero who can control nature, and in Thanksgiving's Yours, Mine, and Ours she plays the eldest daughter of Rene Russo. The Sky High job came about as a direct result from her screen test for Disney's Freaky Friday, a role that eventually went to Lindsay Lohan. Panabaker recalls being crushed when she didn't get the Friday job, but the producers remembered her when casting Sky High. "They had me in mind ever since they saw me test," she says, "which was so nice to hear."

Panabaker, who graduated high school at 14 and has been taking college courses ever since, is thinking of attending UCLA in the fall as an English major. "I know enough about the business to know what a difficult and crazy business it is, and I love being a part of it right now, but who knows? Five years, 10 years, maybe even two years down the road, it may be too overwhelming or too something, or I could just not like it anymore, at which point I would definitely quit," she says. "I've always said if this becomes too much of a job, I'm just not going to do it, because there's no point. There are so many other people who could be doing this and who have the passion for it, that me taking up space is no good. I love it, and I'll do it as long as I continue to love it."
Uh, Ernie, your facts are wrong. Stumbo is running for re-election, not Governor.
"My assessment as we look at this and what is it all about, I think it's pretty clear this is the beginning of the 2007 governor's race is what this is about" Fletcher, a Republican, told reporters Friday.

"By saying that this is the beginning of the 2007 governor's race, I think it's pretty clear what I mean by that," he said.
Jim Edmonds has hit 99 HR's at Busch Stadium as of Friday night.

Northern Kentucky's Most Influential People: #11, Dick Murgatroyd

Northern Kentucky's Most Influential People: #9, Trey Grayson

Ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell to drive pace car today.
The traditional whiteness of the crowd is nearly as well known as the race itself. Shortly after it was announced that Powell, a former secretary of state, would drive the pace car, a comedy bit on The Daily Show had Jon Stewart saying: "Becoming the first ex-Cabinet official to drive the pace car is one of many firsts Powell will accomplish at Indy." The Speedway entrance was shown with the banner: "WELCOME, BLACK GUY!"
Evan Bayh avoided the filibuster fight.
Larry Sabato, political science professor at the University of Virginia, said the judicial nominee issue was too important to those at the core of the Democratic Party for Bayh to risk irritating them.

"If he had been one of the seven-plus Democrats involved in the negotiations, then many of the liberal interest groups would have crossed him right off the list permanently for 2008," Sabato said.

Bayh's spokesman said the senator is a strong opponent of changing the rules for judicial filibusters "because he believes that more than a simple majority should be required for confirmation to lifetime appointments to the courts of appeal or the Supreme Court."

"The deals that were being discussed included confirming judges to the appeals court who were unable to get more than a simple majority in the Senate," said spokesman Dan Pfeiffer.
Religious conservatives were losers in the filibuster fight.
•A bill that President Bush threatened to veto, that the GOP leadership denounced, that deep-pocket interest groups opposed was passed out of the Republican-controlled House. It would expand federal research on stem cells, a prospect opponents called morally wrong (Rep. Mike Pence) and the same as abortion (Rep. Mark Souder), yet which a majority of the country supports.

•A group of seven Democratic and seven Republican senators found a way to defuse the nuclear option in the Senate despite pressure from the ideological right to vaporize the filibuster.

In both cases a minority of congressional Republicans refused to go along with the religious right, which pressured hard. The stem cell debate was fraught with the language and emotion that is normally associated with abortion.
Must I remind readers that Judaic law allows for stem cell research.

State employees are avoiding personal emails at all costs. Most are resorting to cell phones now that they lost their Blackberry's due to Stumbo's investigation.
Secretary of State spokesman Les Fugate hadn't seen a computer floppy disk in "forever" when a co-worker brought one to his office the other day.

And then Fugate noticed e-mail traffic to the office plunged by half, but phones were "ringing off the hook" and more people wanted to talk with him in person.

Why this sudden return to the modus operandi of the 1990s?

Fugate said the answer is Attorney General Greg Stumbo's merit hiring investigation, with its court-ordered access to state workers' e-mails.

The court has ruled sensitive policy files off-limits, but Secretary of State Trey Grayson's employees and advisers are "just afraid" to use government e-mail, Fugate said.

"They were afraid that something might happen and the AG's office would have access and it's just falling into the wrong hands politically," said Fugate, who was a bit bemused by his colleagues' reactions. "There's an unnecessary shroud of protectiveness."

It's just one sign of state government under siege.

While Stumbo and Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration focus on the investigation, officials said the business of state government has slowed in certain agencies.

Because of the demand for documents to feed three independent investigations and an internal review, the Personnel Cabinet burned through six months' worth of supplies for blacking out sensitive personal information in the first two weeks of Stumbo's inquiry.

Some officials are using their personal cell phones, after the attorney general seized their state-issued Blackberry personal digital assistants.

Dozens of employees working to comply with subpoenas have had to shunt aside routine tasks.
Free credit reports are available to Kentuckians. You can read more at the Compassionate e-Community. I'm still getting used to that name. Thankfully, a 2003 law enables consumers to get the report for free.

David Wells goes against Mike Mussina tonight. As of tonight, Boston will have played 30 games on the road with only 19 games played at home. This is unjust! Also, David Wells and Edgar Renteria are switing uniform numbers. Renteria will take #3 and Wells #16.

St. Louis's current team ranks #2 all-time as of 48 games. Jim Edmonds has joined Mark McGwire (119) and Ray Lankford (123) with regards to the 100 home runs at Busch Stadium club.

Campbell County Democratic Chairman Ken Mullikin released a statement through the electronic mail today:
On Saturday it was reported in the local print media that Gov. Fletcher has a new take on his hiring scandal. "My assessment as we look at this and what it is all about, I think it's pretty clear this is the beginning of the 2007 governor's race is what this is about," Fletcher said.

Lloyd Rogers, former Campbell County Judge, sees it differently. Commenting on the Hayden part of the scandal in The Sunday Challenger Rogers says, "The creditability of Gov. Ernie Fletcher is at stake and he doesn't seem to understand what is happening. A second term for him does not look very likely."

I never thought I would see the day when we needed to help Rogers prove himself right, but thanks to Fletcher, that is where we find ourselves. After winning our county races next year, we must do everything possible to end Fletcher's time in Frankfort. That is unless his time ends earlier, remember Nixon said he knew nothing of his scandal either. We all know what happened to him.

Also in the Challenger on Sunday Vicki Prichard notes that the Republicans are "eating their own" over the Hayden appointment. Prichard hasn't been covering politics in No. Ky long, but she seems to have figured out how the Republicans work. Keep an eye on her column each week in the Challenger.

Has anyone seen or heard form Senator Stine since the hiring scandal broke. I am starting to worry about her. Let me know if you have seen her. Joe Fischer has been missing also, but that is not unusual.
Some of Lloyd Roger's comments:
Gov. Ernie Fletcher named Mark Hayden to be the Campbell County Commissioner taking the place of the deceased Bill Verst. A considerable number of people in Campbell County are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what qualified Mark Hayden to be County Commissioner? It was nothing but pure politics.

Mark Hayden came on the scene suddenly and ran for State Representative against Dennis Keene and lost two years ago. But one must look deeper than that to see the reasoning. Mr. Hayden works for a law firm, Greenebaum, Doll and McDonald, where it just so happens the governor's son, Ben Fletcher, is employed. Do you see a connection here?

The present judge-executive of Campbell County, Steve Pendery, made it known to the right people that he wanted Mark Hayden for the job. Recently, Judge Pendery and the fiscal court hired Greenebaum, Doll and McDonald to give legal advice on the transportation bill. I always thought that the county attorney was elected to advise the fiscal court, and I think County Attorney Justin Verst is qualified to do so. A recent payment to Greenebaum, Doll and McDonald of approximately $38,000 from the Campbell County Fiscal Court makes me wonder, what's going on here?[...]

With all the publicity lately about the political favoring in hiring, one would think the governor would cease this practice of hiring individuals based on whom they know rather than their qualifications.

One can only hope the governor will issue a statement of why and how this decision was made. Don't hold your breath while waiting for this statement. Did it have anything to do with the governor's son and Greenebaum, Doll and McDonald?

The credibility of Gov. Ernie Fletcher is at stake and he doesn't seem to understand what is happening. A second term for him does not look to be very likely.
Roger's is the former Republican Judge-executive of Campbell County. It is fishy when they turn against their own. Several turned against Bunning over his behavior and Bush over disagreements with the war.

The Sunday Challenger has ranked the top 50 influential people living in Northern Kentucky. Many names are familiar to me.

#1 Jim Votruba, NKU President
#2 Ralph Drees, Kenton County Judge-executive
#3 Bill Butler, founder of Corporex
#4 Jerry Carroll, Real Estate
#5 Wayne Carlisle, businessman
#6 Ed Hughes, founding president of Gateway Community and Technical College
#7 Nancy Kremer, senior vice president at St. Luke hospitals
#8 Gary Toebben, Businessman
#9 Trey Grayson, Secretary of State
#10 Katie Stine, Republican State Senator
#11 Dick Murgatroyd, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Fletcher
#12 Atsushi Niimi, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America
#13 Paul Hemmer, Jr., CEO of the Paul Hemmer Companies
#14 William T. "Bill" Robinson, Managing Member, Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC
#15 Bishop Roger Foys, Diocese of Covington
#16 John Domaschko, Kentucky Educational Television (KET) board member at large
#17 Father Bill Cleves, President Emeritus and Vice Chancellor, Thomas More College
#18 Fred Buttrell, CEO, Comair
#19 Joseph Gross, President of St. Elizabeth Hospital
#20 Dick Roeding, Republican State Senator
#21 Steve Pendery, Campbell County Judge-executive
#22 Bob Zapp, Bank of Kentucky President
#23 Judy Clabes, Scripps-Howard Foundation, Forward Quest Founding Member
#24 Gary Moore, Judge-executive, Boone County
#25 Jim Bunning, U.S. Senator
#26 Jim Huff, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Huff Realty
#27 Oakley Farris, Philanthropist and Landlord
#28 Chris Goddard, Health Point HealthPoint Family Care CEO
#29 J.R. Cassidy, Kentucky Symphony Director
#30 Fred Bassett, Superintendent, Beechwood Schools
#31 Kevin Canafax, General Manager, Fidelity Investments
#32 Phil Ciafardini, City Manager, Newport
#33 John Stanton, Fletcher NKY representative
#34 Geoff Davis, Congressman
#35 Jack Moreland, Superintendent, Covington Schools
#36 L.D. Campbell, Pastor/teacher
#37 Alex Edmondson, Covington City Commissioner
#38 Greg Popovich, Camobell District Judge
#39 Frank Sommerkamp, Crestview Hills city councilman
#40 Bryan Blavatt, Boone Co. Superintendent
#41 Greg Shumate, Kenton Co. GOP Chair
#42 Dan Tobergte, CEO of Tri-County Economic Development Corporation
#43 Alice Sparks, University of Kentucky Board of Trustee
#44 Susan Cook, Kenton Co. Superintendent
#45 Jon Draud, State Representative
#46 Shaun Alexander, football player
#47 Ken Shields, former NKU Basketball coach
#48 Jay Fossett, City Solicitor
#49 Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, Thomas More College President
#50 Bennie Doggett, Eastside Neighborhood Association President

I'd prefer him over Ernie any day of the week, but I'd prefer Jonathan over either any day as well.

I think that's enough reading for now.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Moment of Zen?

Tom Delay lashes out at NBC. Delay is paranoid if you ask me. Now, the GOP is blaming everything on TV shows?
Producer Dick Wolf, creator of the "Law & Order" franchise, took a swipe at DeLay in his own statement on Thursday, saying, "I ... congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a TV show."

The flap came as ethics questions swirling around DeLay mounted with a Texas judge ruling on Thursday that a political action committee formed by the congressman violated state law by failing to disclose $600,000 in mostly corporate donations.

The show's season finale drew 14.5 million viewers, but DeLay wasn't one of them. An aide said he heard about the show through his wife, who learned of it from someone else who saw the episode.
The series stars a former Senator: Fred Thompson (R-TN).

To show some bipartisan fairness, Jesse Jackson and the DNC have been hit with some campaign violation charges. This isn't good if you ask me but what goes around, comes around.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Democratic National Committee violated campaign finance law when Jackson used Rainbow/PUSH Coalition funds to travel the country in 2000 drumming up voter registration and staging get-out-the-vote rallies, according to a Federal Election Commission decision released Thursday.

Under an agreement with the FEC, Jackson, two of his organizations, Rainbow/PUSH and the Citizen Education Fund, and the DNC were levied a $200,000 fine.

In accepting the fine, they also acknowledged violating federal election regulations by engaging in a campaign travel arrangement that saw Jackson's not-for-profit corporations illegally paying for political trips the DNC was supposed to fund.

The fine was split in half, with the DNC responsible for $100,000 and Jackson and his groups responsible for an equal amount. The entire amount has been paid, according to the FEC.
At least they accepted responsibility unlike someone else we have seen in the news.

Rightly so. I don't want to foot the attorney bill for Ernie Fletcher. He got into that mess when he put partisanship over qualifications. He is not going to use my money to pay his attorney fees.
- Taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay defense attorney fees for potential targets of an investigation of hiring practices in Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration, a state prosecutor said yesterday.

Deputy Attorney General Pierce Whites also said in a letter to Finance Secretary Robbie Rudolph that he should "verify that no state money has been used to pay for the criminal defense of individuals employed in the executive cabinet."

Rudolph, in a statement, said no state money has been or will be used to pay attorney fees for any individual who might be indicted in the expanding investigation.

Meanwhile, Fletcher, who returned to Kentucky last night after a nearly two-week economic development trip to Asia, has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. today "to discuss pending reviews of Merit System employment practices," his office said.[...]

The court approval of the special grand jury makes it "incumbent that no state funds be used to pay criminal defense attorneys who are representing potential targets of this investigation," prosecutor Whites said in his letter yesterday to secretary Rudolph.

Whites said the Louisville law firm of Frost Brown Todd is representing Fletcher employees Brian Crall and Grayson Smith as individuals. Whites called both Crall and Smith persons "of interest" in the investigation. Crall, a former state representative from Owensboro, is Fletcher's policy adviser. Smith represents Eastern Kentucky in Fletcher's local outreach office.

The legal representation of Crall and Smith "has crossed the line into the performance of criminal defense work at taxpayer expense," Whites said.

Attorney Sheryl Snyder with Frost Brown Todd said last night that his firm is representing the governor's office but is "not doing criminal defense work for anyone in the executive branch."

Secretary Rudolph said the attorneys the state has retained "represent an agency, not any specific individuals" and that "the persons named in the subpoenas have been served in their capacity as an employee of the commonwealth, not as an individual citizen."

Rudolph added: "In the future, if there were charges against any individuals, those individuals would then need to retain their own private attorney to represent them."

Several private lawyers have been hired by Fletcher's office and the Transportation, Personnel and Finance cabinets to handle pieces of the investigation. The state Personnel Board also is planning to hire its own outside legal team.

The total cost to the state for the private attorneys will depend on how long the investigation lasts. Most private attorneys who work with the state charge $125 per hour.

Several individuals involved have also hired outside attorneys to represent them. For example, Commerce Secretary Jim Host has hired Lexington attorney Joe Terry as his personal counsel.
Good news. Senator Bayh wants to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Sen. Evan Bayh on Thursday blamed banks and the military for not doing enough to make sure military families benefit from a law protecting them from eviction and foreclosure.

The Indiana Democrat said he would introduce legislation to require the Pentagon to educate military families about their rights and to fine banks and debt collectors who violate the law.

Bayh said in a conference call with reporters that he does not know how many military families are not getting the protections they are entitled to, but he said there is anecdotal evidence that changes are needed.

"Even if it's only happening occasionally," Bayh said, "it's outrageous."

Bayh has previously introduced legislation, which has not been acted on, to increase the pay of members of the National Guard and Reserves whose income drops as a result of being called to active duty.

The law Bayh now wants to amend, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, was passed in 2003 as an update to previous protections. It prohibits evictions from homes and rental units, interest rates higher than 6 percent a year for debts incurred before military service, and foreclosures to pay overdue taxes.
It's that time of year again, the Red Sox are facing the Yankees.

That's it for now. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

ATTN: Parents

I hate it when parents send their kids to school sick knowing the consequences. Because of that, my mom has been sick for almost a month now and has yet to get better at all! Parents should think before sending their contagious kid to school. Instead of jobs coming first, it's always family first and foremost.

Just relaxing...

You know Bush is not in trouble when Mitch Daniels likes his highway funding plan. Why am I not surprised at this latest action?
Gov. Mitch Daniels will not lobby Congress or the president for the Senate version of a highway funding bill even though it includes more Indiana money than a House bill, administration officials said Tuesday.

The difference between the bills is $10.2 billion for all states and about $176 million for Indiana, according to Transportation Weekly, an independent newsletter that tracks federal transportation and public works policy.

The Senate bill puts Indiana's five-year appropriation at $969 million, compared with a House appropriation of $933.8 million.

"We're basically staying at the lower number," Thomas Sharp, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation, said.

Sharp said Daniels' stance reflects President Bush's promised veto of the Senate bill, which the president has said is too expensive.

The Senate ignored the veto threat when it passed the bill last week with a strong bipartisan vote of 89-11. Supporters included Indiana Sens. Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh, a Republican and Democrat, respectively.
I just realized that I have sat through a graduation each year since 2000. That streak will continue through 2009, at the latest.

Jonathan Miller has a joke contest up at his blog. Make sure to submit a joke.

I hate to be a bearer of bad news: Bronson Arroyo suffered his first loss since August 15, 2004. Good things always come to an end quickly (coughfletchercough).

On June 8, the Cardinals-Red Sox game has been moved to 7:10 eastern time on ESPN2.

AIPAC endorses pulling out of Gaza. I sure don't.

Now, for a public service announcement from a reader of the blog:
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has urged President Bush to protest the broadcast of an antisemitic sermon by Palestinian TV during his May 26th White House meeting with PA President Abbas. The request to the President by Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (respectively) came on the heels of a May 13th genocidal sermon broadcast live on Palestinian Television by Gaza cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Mudairis. In that sermon, Mudairis, who appears frequently on Palestinian Television, charged that, "The Jews are the cancer spreading all over the world...the Jews are a virus like AIDS hitting humankind...Jews are responsible for all wars and conflicts....Do not ask what Germany did to the Jews but what the Jews did to Germany. True, the Germans killed and burned Jews but the Jews exaggerate the numbers to gain propaganda advantages and sympathy.."

The Sheikh went on to say that God has predetermined that the Jewish problem will be solved with their extermination and that God has also predetermined that Christian-Islam interactions will end with today's Christian countries under Islam.

The Center's letter to President Bush said in part: "...Mr. President, this speech exceeds in its blatant antisemitism and Holocaust denial even the most hateful sermons preached under Yassir Arafat's rule. Furthermore, it coincided with the civilized world's commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism. What message does this television broadcast convey to the people of Israel other than to leave them to wonder whether this is the peace dividend they can look forward to from their new Palestinian partners?...We urge you, Mr. President, to discuss this matter with President Abbas when he visits you and to make clear that the seeds of peace cannot be grown in fields of hate," they said.

The current chief of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation was personally appointed by Mr. Abbas and several days ago the Center demanded that he be removed from his position. Reacting to a news report that Palestinian Minister of Information Nabil Shaath has asked the Muslim Waqf and Religious Affairs Ministry who employs Sheik Mudairis, "to suspend him, investigate him and prevent him from delivering further sermons on Fridays," Wiesenthal Center officials said, "While this is a positive development, there will no hopes for a lasting Middle East peace unless President Abbas takes immediate steps to stop all incitement to terrorism, Holocaust denial, and antisemitic hatred on the Palestinian airwaves and school curricula."
Political news from the Forward:
Fleischer's best line was a rare nod across the aisle: "The Hebrew word for 'Scoop Jackson' is 'Joe Lieberman,'" he said. "We need more Joe Liebermans."

All told, though, Fleischer spoke for perhaps three times as long as Dean did, prompting jokes about whether Fleischer thought it was his responsibility to be the keynoter.[...]

Candidate, Candidate: Several folks seeking office, or higher office, made the scene at the banquet, including Rhode Islanders Sheldon Whitehouse, a former attorney general, and Secretary of State Matt Brown. Both are hoping to oust Senator Lincoln Chafee, a Republican. Also present were Pennsylvania State Treasurer Bob Casey, looking to dislodge Senator Rick Santorum, a Republican; Texas attorney Barbara Radnofsky, a Democrat aiming for the seat of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican, and Maryland House members Ben Cardin and the as-yet-unannounced Chris Van Hollen, Democrats vying for the seat being vacated by Senator Paul Sarbanes. The banquet was the place to be: More than half of both houses of Congress attended the repast, which featured sesame-encrusted salmon and kosher wine.[...]

Speaking about moving fast, Orentlicher reported that Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, known as a centrist, "is setting up his campaign committee" for a shot at the 2008 Democratic presidential nod. "Some people who worked for him in past campaigns are moving to Washington," Orentlicher said.[...]

It pains me to show the next paragraph.

Odd Couple: Former Aipac president Lonny Kaplan, a New Jersey trial lawyer and Democrat, told the Forward he is "helping to arrange fund-raising events around the country" for the 2006 re-election bids of senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, a New York Democrat, and Santorum, one of the Senate's most conservative GOPers. Apparently, when it comes to pro-Israel activism it takes a village.
Evan Bayh to headline the Wisconsin State Convention.
Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) is set to headline the Democratic Party of Wisconsins 2005 state convention. Wisconsin Democrats are honored to welcome the former governor and second term senator to this years state convention. A testament to Senator Bayhs commitment to working for all Americans, President Bill Clinton commented, "I hope and expect some day I'll be voting for Evan Bayh for President of the United States."

Elected to his second term in the U.S. Senate in November, Senator Bayh has worked extensively to strengthen our national security, create more jobs, and provide tax-relief for working families. Before his election to the Senate, Bayh served two terms as the Governor of Indiana, where he established one of the strongest economies in the nation.

The convention will be held on June 10th and 11th at the Park Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Oshkosh. Senator Bayhs keynote speech will take place Friday evening. The convention will also include speeches from Governor Jim Doyle, Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton, Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, Representatives Baldwin, Kind, Obey, and Moore, and Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, as well as other elected officials and candidates from across the state.
I sense a comedy festival in Montreal soon.
Jim Belushi, Dame Edna and Eddie Izzard will provide some comic relief at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal (July 14-24).

Also on the lineup are Greg Proops, one-person shows by Tommy Tiernan and Judy Gold, a tribute to British humor, and panels revolving around The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Belushi and Dame Edna will each host two of this year's six JFL galas. Whose Line Is It Anyway? and improv favorites Brad Sherwood and Colin Mochrie will host another one, with the final gala set to serve as a tribute to Britcom.[...]

In "Daily Show Secrets ... Revealed!" Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and producers and writers from The Daily Show will present a behind-the-scenes look at the cult show.
Impressive. I wish I could go.

I'm off to watch the trilogy with audio commentary for the first time ever.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Evening Update

For those bloggers who are linked on my blogroll, since I am at home with dial up and have class from 9:15 - 11:45 and then work til about five after my lunch break, I just don't have the time to read other blogs until I get home and even then, it is very time consuming so if you don't see me commenting there, that's why.

Luckily, I still manage to get the blog updated at least once a day.

While there is a big scandal here in Kentucky dealing with political patronage, there is also one in the Windy City per NPR. Evidently, Mayor Daley has made pledge to rid Chicago's government of patronage. Now, when is that pledge coming here in KY?

Be wary. I sense an expansion of a patriot act which has some things in it that are very un-patriotic. If I wanted someone knowing what books I read, I'd put it online. The only books I read these days deal with Judaism, politics, sports, and Star Wars.
But Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is worried the new subpoena power will give the FBI "carte blanche" to go on fishing expeditions. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., wanted to get a better sense of the scope of the problem now.

"We have no way of knowing whether these delays are extraordinarily unlikely or whether they happen all the time," Bayh said. "Best I can tell here today, this is something you are prospectively concerned about."

Democrats also questioned giving the FBI authority to read the outside of a person's mail without a U.S. postal inspector's approval, as is the case now. Caproni said various postal inspectors apply different standards. "They are not a rubber stamp," she said.

"It is odd, to say the least, that the FBI is the agency that is charged with protecting the country from terrorist attacks and from spies, and yet our ability to use this very basic tool of a mail cover is charged to the discretion of another agency," Caproni added.
Last night, Tony LaRussa tied Whitey Herzog with 822 Cardinal wins. He needs at least 2-3 seasons to take first place all-time.

Johnny Damon is catching up to 1,000 runs. David Wells was 6 short of 2,000 strikeouts before today's game. After the game, he was 4 short.

That's about all. For the record, I was in Frankfort today. I was there on business and I was not there for a job recommendation. In light of the scandal, I felt that need to release that information. Did I visit elected officials? Yes. Only one. The others were out of town. The trip was unexpected so there was no camera on me. For some reason, I never have a camera when I visit Frankfort.

Today's news

Liz Winnstead sues AAR. You probably know her for the best political satire show on TV!

Deal? What deal?
The group of seven Democrats and seven Republicans, operating without the blessing of their respective party leaders, announced their surprise deal after emerging from days of talks that had appeared to be going nowhere.[...]

nominations to the federal appeals courts, who Democrats have labelled extreme and blocked for the past four years.

The seven Democrats said that they would add their weight to Republicans and break the filibuster, or delay, imposed by the Democratic leadership. In return, the seven Republicans have for the time being agreed to block any efforts by their party leadership to end the rights of the minority party to indefinitely filibuster judicial nominations.

And, while the deal lasts, the big winner is the reputation of the Senate, whose hallowed traditions of cool deliberation and high-minded reflection can just about be said to remain intact.

The losers are activists and more ideological senators from both sides who had been itching for a fight.

But the news will not go down well in the White House either. The deal explicitly excludes two of Mr Bush’s nominees, even though hours earlier he had demanded that they all receive “an up or down vote” on the floor of the Senate, and leaves the fate of the rest uncertain.

Nor was it good news for the presidential hopes of Bill Frist, the Republican Senate majority leader eyeing a run in 2008, who courted the religious Right over the issue of Mr Bush’s nominees.

He is in danger of failing to deliver what he promised: a full slate of nominees confirmed by the Senate.[...]

The deal was worked out by two of the Senate’s grandest old men: John Warner, the debonair Virginian and Republican who was once married to Elizabeth Taylor, and Robert Byrd, a tough old Democratic from West Virginia. They were joined by John McCain, the maverick Republican from Arizona and Joe Lieberman, the centrist Democrat who was Al Gore’s presidential running mate in 2000 and failed hopelessly to win the party’s nomination four years later.
By the way, I call on Governor Ernie Fletcher to resign as Governor for putting politics above job qualifications. See, this is why I am out of politics aside from campaigning and advocating.

Monday, May 23, 2005

No subject

Sorry, my brain is fried.

Ernie Fletcher should resign as Governor of Kentucky. It becomes more clear each day that he does not know how to do his job at all.

Natalie hates her haircut. I knew it and may her hair grow back sooner. However, this appears to be bad news for anyone who has a crush on the actress. This may take some time to digest.

Professor Alan Dershowitz released a statement today:
Jews have been defined as a people by their veneration of laws -- and the process of grappling with those laws to reach a better and deeper understanding. We therefore take laws very seriously.

Additionally, as American Jews, we have benefited from a system of law that has protected us as a religious minority. Nowhere else in the world has religion flourished so much or so diversely.

It is with that background in mind that American Jews approach the strong likelihood that President Bush will have an opportunity to nominate multiple Justices to the Supreme Court in the next months and years. These will be the first such lifetime appointment, or appointments, since President Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer to the Court in 1993 and 1994, respectively.

It is clear that we as Jews have much at stake in this battle, and it is important that we make our point of view heard as Americans -- as members of a religious minority, and as members of a law-loving faith.

I believe that we ought to make sure that President Bush appreciates fully the shared American values and principles that we as Jews tend to hold particularly dear. As the president of all Americans, he should ensure that his nominees embrace these ecumenical principles:

-That the religious liberty protected by the First Amendment includes strong protections for the practices of even unpopular minorities, and absolute protections for the beliefs, or disbeliefs, of all citizens.
-That such religious liberty is undermined if the government uses its coercive power and resources to compel people to support, in a substantial or meaningful way, religious belief and practice to which they do not adhere.
-That an overwhelming majority of American Jews understand that a woman's reproductive decisions are personal ones between her, her mate, and her chosen spiritual and medical advisers, with only the most limited intervention by civic authorities.
-That our Constitution reflects the principle that the federal government has the power, and even the obligation, to intervene in various aspects of economic life on behalf of the weak and the destitute, with private charity supplementing but not replacing official efforts.
The following is from Bob Fraser who runs You Must Act:
Here's what I think we can gain from George's journey:

Don't give up your dream. Even if everyone else is saying that it's stupid or not worthy – as many in the Hollywood mainstream insisted when George went around itching the Star Wars idea.

Don't listen to critics. They will always be around and they will always be mostly wrong. A famous writer once compared critics to eunuchs: "They've seen it done. They know HOW it's done. They just can't do it themselves."

Collaborate. Lucas would never have realized his dream without the help of many other artists. He knew that and surrounded himself with people who wanted to realize their dreams as much as he did.

Along the way, these dreamers have invented computer editing, a new sound paradigm, computer-generated special effects, and Lord only knows how many other new approaches to old problems. LucasFilm is at the center of the film industry today - all because of one man's vision and his willingness to share the work and the glory.

So, whether Star Wars is your cup of java, or not – you should keep in mind that George Lucas, with his "silly" sci-fi dream, almost single-handedly managed to rescue a film industry that was on life support -- and then went on to re-invent how movies are made and what they mean to the audience.

Not much today

Lindsay Lohan puts Jessica Simpson on the spot. Virginity was mocked.

Former Ambassador Milton Wolfe has died at the old age of 80.

I'm afraid that's all I got today.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Star Wars

Along with other records mentioned earlier:
Midnight: $16.5 million (The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King, 8 million)
Opening Day: $50.0 million (Spider-Man 2, $40.4 million)
Three Day: $124.7 million (Spider-Man, $114.8 million, May 2002)
Four Day: $158.5 million (The Matrix Reloaded, $134.3 million, 2003)
Friday-Sunday estimate: $108.5 million

It shattered all records.

Weekend Update

It really is a pain having dial up but I've been watching both the prequel trilogy and original trilogy over the past week. It's so amazing. Of course, once the prequels were made, you can never watch the originals in the same eye again. I can say the same for watching the audio commentary as well--which I will do once rerun season starts. For all the fans dissing Revenge of the Sith, shame on you. This was the film many were waiting for. You needed the first two to set up the stages for Anakin Skywalker's turn to the Dark Side of the Force.

Kathryn Greenwood and Debra McGrath to appear in an all-female sketch comedy show. Both are alumni of Second City.
The two women, both of whom are Second City alumni, will take to the stage this week to perform in the sketch comedy show Women Fully Clothed. The show also stars Robin Duke from Saturday Night Live/SCTV, Jayne Eastwood from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Chicago and Wonderland, and Teresa Pavlinek from History Bites and The Jane Show.

The sketch show, which the five women co-wrote, runs Thursday, May 26 through Saturday, May 29 at the Winter Garden Theatre on Yonge Street.
The script was written before Attack of the Clones even came out. Republicans are unwise to boycott a science fiction film. However, parallels are there. The spoilers may follow so if you have yet to see the movie, well, stop reading now!
Here are two examples of what these conservatives say is George Lucas' Bush-bashing (skip the bullet points if you want to avoid any spoilers):
l When the Republic's Senate votes for Chancellor Palpatine's request for absolute power, Sen. Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) comments, "So this is how liberty dies - to thunderous applause," an apparent comparison to the U.S.A. Patriot Act.
l When Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) tells his former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), "If you're not with me, you're my enemy," it supposedly recalls Bush's post-9/11 statement "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."[...]

At a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, where Revenge of the Sith premiered out of competition last Sunday, Lucas acknowledged his saga's themes could apply to the Iraq war.

"In terms of evil, one of the original concepts was how does a democracy turn itself into a dictatorship," Lucas said.

When Lucas began writing Star Wars, though, the war was in Vietnam and the president playing fast and loose with the Constitution was Richard Nixon - though Lucas did say this week, "The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable."

What's more unbelievable is that Lucas planned to go after Bush with his sixth (and likely final) "Star Wars" movie. In the past, he has always tried to keep Star Wars above partisan politics (remember the unsuccessful litigation to stop the movie's name from being used to describe Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative?) and he's too savvy a marketer to want to alienate the pro-Bush part of the Star Wars audience.

Besides, as all those Joseph Campbell interviews have taught us, the Star Wars themes - good and evil, heroes and villains, an all-encompassing Force connecting all living things - are universal and timeless, not bound up in whoever currently resides in the White House.

Could conservatives be getting a little paranoid? Are they seeing too much of the current political situation in Revenge of the Sith and blaming the movie rather than blaming Bush? If pop culture is a mirror to society, the reflection often reveals less about the mirror and more about who's looking into it.
I say that conservatives are paranoid. However, I fear a country that sees to it that all power goes to the majority party. To change the filibuster would lead to a dictatorship.

Tony LaRussa is one win away from 822 wins as a Cardinal Manager. The Cardinal record belongs to Red Schoendienst with 1,041 wins. Tony needs 219 wins to take the record. Doable? Yes. Likely, I'm not sure. This is St. Louis' 5th best team.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

A country divided

The more and more I think about it, the more we are beginning to resemble a republic falling a la Revenge of the Sith. This is all hypothetical. Bush wanting the filibuster to end to give his party more power. Bush decieving us with regards to going to war. Bush using faith to gain votes when, in turn, he's not even that religious. The latest:
Plans for President Bush to deliver the commencement speech Saturday at a Christian college in Michigan seemed to be a perfect match of politician and constituency - religious conservatives who helped re-elect the president.

Yet the event also illustrates a growing debate over the role of religion in politics, as about 800 teachers, students and alumni of Calvin College signed a letter saying the president's policies do not reflect their religious values.

"Your deeds, Mr. President - neglecting the needy to coddle the rich, desecrating the environment and misleading the country into war - do not exemplify the faith we live by," said the letter published in an ad in The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press.

"Moreover," the letter continued, "many of your supporters are using religion as a weapon to divide our nation and advance a narrow partisan agenda.
The Democratic party truly needs a Luke Skywalker and an Obi-Wan Kenobi to rise up.

A college assistance plan was outlined before the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
In an effort to help parents send their children to college, Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Treasurer Jonathan Miller have bumped up against the economic reality facing many of those same parents: a tight budget.

Grayson and Miller were at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce government forum Friday to outline their ongoing plans to create a college savings account for every child born in Kentucky.

The proposal is still moving forward, but initially could be scaled back because of the state's tight budget, Grayson said in a brief interview following the forum in Covington.

"The reality is it's going to be a combination (of funding sources). And in the beginning it may only be private or foundation money because of budgetary issues," he said.[...]

"There are so many people who have given up hope, who given up on the opportunity for their children to attend college," Miller said of the importance of the savings plan.
Tony LaRussa is just two wins shy of tying Whitey Herzog for all-time Cardinal wins as a manager.

The Red Sox have 162 consecutive sellouts at Fenway.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Afternoon update

A Cincinnati mayor has now joined the staff of NKU as a visiting professor. It is not Jerry Springer.

While listening to the audio commentary on Attack of the Clones, I learned a few things. I had less than half an hour to go in the film and my brother kicks me off to watch some stupid team from Chicago. Very inappropriate and uncalled for. He's taking a nap on the couch now. How rude is that!

Interleague play begins soon. St. Louis takes on Kansas City today. St. Louis has seen about 33 lineups this season. Mark Grudzielanek now has 1,000 runs scored.

Star Wars - Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith opened up with $16.5 million for midnight showings alone. That smashed the record of The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King ($8 million) and Spiderman (7 million). Both went on to gross $34.5 million and $39.4 million, respectively for their opening day. However, the box office record (until we find out today) is $40.4 million from Spiderman 2. That had showings in 4,152 theaters. Star Wars - Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith had showings in 3,661 but only an estimated 2,900 theaters showed a screening at midnight. A total of 9,400 prints were made.

It should shatter box office records across the boards. It has the midnight showing record. Industry sources are saying that opening weekend will bring in about $150 million to $160 million range, which is unprecedented. Considering that Spider-Man's record was $114.8 million. The opening day numbers were $50 million. As soon as the other numbers come out, I'll post 'em.

Evan Bayh says Bush didn't do something right. This speech was presented to the DLC.
Instead of marshaling the post-Sept. 11 "I’ll do anything you ask" attitude of Americans into a national energy policy that requires sacrifice from everyone, Bayh said, Bush told the country to go to the mall and shop.

"It is just not acceptable for a great global power to be as dependent as we are today on unstable places like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia, Iran for something essential to our well-being like petroleum," he said.

"Where was the leader of our country looking the American people in the eye and saying, ‘I pledge to you that we’re going to track these criminals down and bring them to justice. I pledge to you that we will do whatever it takes to make sure our country will never again suffer a tragedy as occurred on 9/11. But now I’m going to ask each and every one of you for something more than that. I’m going to ask each and every one of you to put something back into this country to meet one of the pre-eminent challenges of our time. Why? Because it will help our economy, our finances, and more than that: It’s what’s necessary to set our children free.’"

Bayh said there was a two- or three-month period in 2001 when Americans would have done anything Bush asked.

"We let the window close," he said.

Vas nu with you?

I am still recovering from my trip to a galaxy far, far away.

Improv is taking over Utah by storm.
Such is the allure of improv comedy, which has taken Utah by storm since Quick Wits debuted in Salt Lake City 11 years ago. As recently as the late 1990s, there was one established improv troupe in the Salt Lake Valley. Today, there are half a dozen, plus entrenched groups in Provo, Park City and Ogden.

"It seems like every other month there's a new improv troupe," says Tonia Freeman, owner of two ComedySportz franchises in Salt Lake City and Provo. "They're popping up everywhere."[...]

Improv, Utah style: American improv comedy traces its roots to the 1920s, when a camp director named Viola Spolin invented unscripted acting games to introduce theater to children in inner-city Chicago. Spolin's sons later brought their mother's improvisational methods to a Chicago theater company that became the fabled Second City troupe - launching pad for the careers of such comics as Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Mike Myers.
Improv arrived in Utah in 1994, when Quick Wits began staging comedy shows at the 250-seat Off-Broadway Theatre on Salt Lake City's Main Street. The troupe originally mounted theatrical spoofs, then added late-night improv shows almost as an afterthought. Before long, the improv became more popular than the scripted shows. The genre was a novelty in Utah, and Quick Wits was the only game in town.
Improv is so fun and I just might be moving to Chicago.

Speaking of improv, it appears that Second City Toronto's touring company was in London recently.
For their part, Second City's national touring lineup of Jim Annan, Lauren Ash, Julie Dumais, David Milchard, Jason Reilly and Julie Dumais finished with a loving tribute to the Winnipeg Jets set to the disco classic "I Will Survive."
Did FOX find their missing funny bone? I hope. Crap, they moved Arrested Devlopment to Mondays at 8 eastern. So much for watching that show anymore.

Montclair celebrates Booker T.
On a more dubious note, Cropper and Dunn were part of the Blues Brothers band in the'70s. Cropper continues to tour with the current Blues Brothers duo, Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi.
I listen to that stuff too. Great music.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My Tuesdays stink

Down to one show now. This is not cool.

It's no secret. Canadians are second in comedy only to...the Jews. I can say that. I'm Jewish.
Mike Myers and Jim Carrey are two of the funniest (and highest grossing) stars in Hollywood today. And although Hollywood might like to lay claim to them, they're born and bred Canadian boys! But the list doesn't stop there - we can also add Martin Short, Leslie Nielsen, Eugene Levy, Michael J. Fox and Dan Aykroyd (to name a few) to the list of Canadians who were born to make us laugh. In his article Why Are We So Funny?, Scott Feschuk tries to find out exactly what accounts for Canada's prodigious production of comedians.
I know Stephen Colbert's fame comes from The Daily Show. But where in the heck is Montclair? I'm guessing North Jersey but I haven't the foggiest idea.
What drew him, his wife, Evelyn, and two children – he now has three – to their Montclair home near Brookdale Park five years ago?

"We heard that Montclair is very open and accepting of interracial couples, and I’m Irish and my wife’s Scottish. We felt that we would be welcome here."

Favorite Montclair activities?

"I do shots at Tierney’s."

As a fake news correspondent, what does he make of Montclair news and politics?

"I’m sure that there was some trenchant humor to be extracted from The Marlboro Inn."[...]

Born and raised in South Carolina, Colbert had aspirations to become a marine biologist but, as fate would have it, swimmer’s ear erased those dreams, he said.

He credits much of his comedic success to his time with “Second City,” an improvisational comedy troupe in Chicago he worked with after graduating from Northwestern University’s theater program.

Before joining The Daily Show in 1997 under then-host Craig Kilborn, Colbert got a taste of the news with a brief job with NBC’s Good Morning America. He filmed two spots, one that made on-air.

It taught me that if you work for Good Morning America, a news parody show is more likely to hire you," Colbert said.

Colbert, who can also be seen in General Motors’ commercials focusing on "Mr. Goodwrench," has been with The Daily Show as it grew from a quirky newscast to a nightly staple for many political junkies during the most recent presidential election. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards even announced his unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination on the show.

Colbert has not shut the door on future appearances on The Daily Show, which averages 1.3 million viewers nightly, while he waits to see how his new show will fare with audiences. But he’s happy where he is and where he’s going.

Otherwise, Colbert believes he would be practicing law, as two of his brothers do.
That makes four of us: Jon Stewart, Bob Wiltfong, myself, and Colbert in the field of planning to be lawyers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Less than 24 hours!

Vader is not the only one on the dark side. Those include the main humans in the original trilogy. My favorite:
Obi-Wan represented all that is good, but Sir Alec Guiness the actor who played the nice Jedi man, said it was his idea to kill off Kenobi. Guiness, who died in 2000, hated Star Wars and everything about it. Reports say he threw away every piece of fan mail, unopened, he ever received. Okay we get it, you're a talented British actor, used to Shakespeare. But some people would really dig having their likeness on a lunch box.
He is a talented actor but from reports I've read, some fans really did go overboard. I'm a Star Wars fan but I don't write down saying my religion is Jedi!

Ernie Fletcher is going to be one and done. What we need is a Democrat to announcce in the next month that they are running. We have the smoking gun that we need to take back the state. Link. I may not be Greg Stumbo's biggest fan but momentum is on our side. The Force is with us.
E-mail messages sent by John Stanton, a regional representative for Gov. Ernie Fletcher, to higher-ups in the administration are among many being examined in an investigation by the office of Attorney General Greg Stumbo, a Democrat.

Stanton works for Local Initiatives for a New Kentucky, or LINK.

The messages are a sequence of e-mails sent last summer discussing the promotion of Highway District 9 employee Rick Rogers. The e-mails bounce between Stanton, Vincent Fields, former LINK executive director, and Dick Murgatroyd, deputy chief of staff for Fletcher and another Northern Kentuckian involved in the probe.

At the time of the e-mails, Murgatroyd was deputy secretary in the Transportation Cabinet, where much of the abuse is alleged to have occurred.

Highway District 9 is included in the area Stanton represents with LINK.
Political patronage is illegal. What's up with Sen. Bunning? He doesn't read or watch the news. He knew nothing of the Newsweek scandal.

A Daily Show blogger has been exposed. I can't say I'm not surprised. I know Bob Wiltfong maintains a blog. I thought Jon Stewart would have one. The blog can be found here and there are many graphics of women in bikinis in the event that your workplace won't allow you to look at them. Or your wife. Or girlfriend. Hey! I don't want you getting fired, do I? If you're on dial up, like I am, it might take an hour to load. The blogger is 29 and lives in New York City. He is a writer on the staff. I don't think it's Eric Drysdale. One way to find out. IMDB. He is Jewish. Gee, that narrows it down now? I'll check out who it is later because I'm off to watch Star Wars - Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. Did I fool you or what? No way would I be waiting in line at this time of day!

Mark Grudzielanek joined Jim Edmonds and Reggie Sanders with 1,500 hits. Mazel tov!

As long as he is not stiff, things will be fine.
Moreau, Bayh’s former chief of staff, who has known Bayh since his father, former Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.), ran for president in 1976, hotly disputes that his friend is boring.

"Those of us who know him, and that means millions and millions of Hoosiers, would never call him bland," Moreau said.

But Richard Gordon, a member of Bayh’s kitchen cabinet who also first met the lawmaker during his father’s White House campaign, said he can understand why observers see Bayh has unexciting.

"That’s all very fair," he said, "He’s a very studious type of person, he’s very intellectual, a very smart guy. Sometimes I feel in that being very thoughtful it is not the type of thing where you’re going to jump out of your seat yelling and screaming."

But, Gordon said, Bayh can connect with audiences: "What I’ve noticed about Bayh is that people are listening to him attentively. You can hear a pin drop. They’re with him. They don’t want a showman. They don’t want someone to put on a play for them. They want someone to touch them."
Headline I want to see: Bunning, Fletcher resign amid scandals.

Whoever the 2007 Democratic candidate for Governor is, they need to announce soon while we have the momentum.

My time is up. I'm going to get back to writing a book that will never be published. Comedy and humor on the blog is back.

Anakin! You were the chosen one!

Star Wars becoming reality? Interesting article.

CafePress will soon be opening up a facility in Kentucky, meaning we'll have to pay 6% sales tax on all items ordered.

Michael Porter has committed to the fall class of 2006.

Is this the smoking gun? Fletcher and gang have committed the cardinal sin: illegal political patronage. I'll have more later when I'm not in a rush.

Evan Bayh is no stranger to the filibuster. However, Mitch McConnell wants it gone.

Improv comes to Northwest Indiana by way of Steve Kaminsky.
The famed Second City of Chicago deserves much of the credit. Now Steve Kaminsky of Schererville, an alum of Second City, wants to bring improv comedy to Northwest Indiana.

"I can teach the basic improv skills and you don't even have to be a great singer," Kaminsky said. "I'm looking for people (who are) energetic and creative."

Kaminsky is looking for "improv talent, actors, singers, dancers and musicians" for auditions held from 2-5 p.m. this Sunday and 7-10 p.m. Monday at the St. John Township Community Center, 1515 Lincoln Highway in Schererville next to The Paragon restaurant. Please bring a photo and resume. Kaminsky is looking for a cast of 11 performers and one keyboard player, 18 or older. All performers will be selected while participating in improv games.
I'll be starting up a troupe this fall at NKU...possibly.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Happy Tuesday

It's Tuesday and you know what that means...two more days!

Monday's pre-game notes for Boston Red Sox (I love that dirty water): Johnny Damon snapped his 18 game streak. All good things must come to an end. Wait a minute, that's George Steinbrenner I'm thinking of.

Dan Rather pays tribute to his allies.
Rather took pains to acknowledge Mapes and former CBS News senior vp Betsy West (who also attended the ceremony), among others. Mapes was fired by CBS News and West was forced to resign in the wake of another 60 Minutes Wednesday report, which aired in September and used questionable documents as part of the sourcing for a highly critical report on President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard.

"They did most of the work, bore the heaviest burdens and took most of the criticism," Rather said of Mapes and the other producers who did the front-line reporting on the Abu Ghraib story. "It took guts, and they had them."

Rather received extended applause after telling the crowd, "Never give up, never back up, never give in while pursuing the dream of integrity filled journalism that matters."
He then went on to announce he was starting up a blog: Rathergate my @$$!
Meanwhile, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was honored with its second Peabody for its "Indecision 2004" presidential campaign coverage. Stewart thanked Comedy Central for its support and joked: "Apparently, Comedy Central also allows its stars to have a semester abroad," referring to the surprise trip that Dave Chappelle, star of the network's Chappelle's Show, has taken to South Africa, forcing the net to postpone the show's May 31 season premiere.

The Daily Show will be joined next year by a half-hour weekday show starring Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert.

"Colbert is irreplaceable, but we're happy to save on the salary," Stewart said.
Dave Chappelle went back to college?!? Oops, I misread that.

The state of television is bad these days. Several shows that had promise were cancelled.
Perhaps no show departing the airwaves will be as mourned by its fans as American Dreams. Unfortunately, after three seasons of good faith from NBC, Dreams was only averaging 7.3 million viewers, an audience that didn't improve when the network temporarily moved it from Sunday to Wednesday. Even though Zucker was one of the period drama's most outspoken supporters, there just wasn't room for "Dreams" on a network trying to change directions.

"It just becomes, unfortunately, the contradiction of America, I guess," Reilly says. "People say they want quality, family-friendly shows at 8:00 and yet you put them on and what they really want to watch is 'Desperate Housewives.' Ultimately, we are in a business here. We love the show... It just was not pulling the ratings to really justify the cost of the show or to justify another year on the schedule."
I call BS! I'm still digesting the WB's dropping of Summerland. With the ongoing disappearance of the family sitcom, comedies are disappearing from the networks. Even family friendly dramas are disappearing.

Natalie Portman likes being bald. I don't like the new look.

Sometime today, I need to watch Episode 1.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A plea to Hagerstown, Maryland's Citizens

Dewayne Wickham's column was printed in today's Courier-Journal. It was moving.

This other article says that baseball great Willie Mays wasn't mad at veterans.

Willie Mays played his first minor league ballgame in Hagerstown, Maryland. I've been to the city twice. Currently, they are home to the Hagerstown Suns. The city has yet to honor the Hall of Fame baseball player in any way whether it be a road or stadium. Why? I think the residents, well a bulk of them, are racist. I hate to name call but if they don't have the decency to honor a living great, then they truly are still racist. Why has America been unable to move forward?

Jackie Robinson was honored in Daytona Beach where he played his first minor league game as a member of the Montreal Royals (Dodgers affiliate). In 1990, City Isalnd Ball Park was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Mays will come. Just replace the stadium.
Mays has written of being shocked by the racism he encountered at his minor league debut as a visiting player in 1950, an incident that has embarrassed the town for decades. Last year, he accepted Mayor William M. Breichner's invitation to return for a reconciliation. The mayor promised to name a street after Mays.

But Breichner picked Memorial Street, which incensed military veterans who say it's the only piece of the town named for them. The mayor's proposal died earlier this week. Breichner says lingering racism killed it; the vets say Breichner is exploiting the issue to court black voters ahead of next month's election, which will be very close.

When he visited last summer, Mays promised to come back again if the city builds a stadium to replace the one built in 1930. The leader of the veterans' group suggests a compromise that could build on the idea.
This is not about political exploitation. It's about doing the right thing.

Sad News

No, I'm not shutting down the blog. Rather, NBC is showing why they are in fourth place. They dropped Committed, and American Dreams. Excuse me, Jeff Zucker, but you need to promote hits like American Dreams that you gave a homicide to when you placed it on Wednesday nights up against Lost.

ABC returning: According to Jim, Alias, America's Funniest Home Videos, Boston Legal, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Monday Night Football

CBS Returning: The Amazing Race, Cold Case, Survivor, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, The King of Queens, Two and a Half Men, Without a Trace

FOX returning: American Idol, Cops, Family Guy, House, Malcolm in the Middle, Nanny 911, The O.C., The Simpsons, That '70s Show

NBC returning: The Apprentice, Crossing Jordan, ER, Joey, Las Vegas, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Medium, Scrubs, The West Wing, Will & Grace

UPN returning: America's Next Top Model, Veronica Mars

WB returning: Everwood, Gilmore Girls, Smallville, 7th Heaven

Summerland needs to be picked up. The show is a hit!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Ohio Valley Sunday

Will Ferrell made his first return to SNL as a host last night and it was hilarious! I had a strong feeling that he would play Alex Trebeck and I was right! Is it just me or was he playing cowbell too during the band's first song?

Jim Edmonds needs 2 home runs to have 100 HR's at Busch Stadium. He needs 4 runs for 1,000 all-time. Mark Grudzielanek is 3 hits away from 1,500. Albert Pujols moves into a tie with Ted Simmons with three more Busch Stadium HR's.

The citizens of Iowa are being bombarded with campaign ads for 2006. Sorry, that's 2008 instead. But why so early? We just ended a campaign season. I'm enjoying an off-year of not campaigning. Yet John Kerry and the DSCC keep calling me for money that I know for a fact I don't have.
Lisbon City Council member Guy Geinzer said he and other participants were first asked whether they were more likely to back a more well-known candidate or were willing to look at lesser-known contenders.

After being shown campaign commercials for John Kerry and John Edwards -- last year's Democratic presidential ticket -- the group was shown two spots for Bayh, D-Ind.

Bayh's office declined to comment on the focus group. Bayh has not said how seriously he's looking at a 2008 bid, but he has been taking other steps -- including fundraising and speaking to Democratic groups -- consistent with an exploratory campaign.

If Bayh does run, he can't count on Geinzer's support in Iowa, the site of the first presidential caucuses.

"I'm not inspired by him," Geinzer said. "He seems too much like a professional politician. He's too polished. He's too correct."
Wait a minute, you're a politician and you are making an accusation that another politician is a professional? Something about that is not right. Oh yea, it's that politics is a profession someone chooses to enter and gets elected most of the time. If you're not a professional politician, then what are you? An amateur politician? That does not make sense at all. That was an unfair attack to make to a Senator whose own father ran for President! (Read this in the Lewis Black voice to get the best feel of it)

I'll be at Slugger Field later today but I might blog later tonight if I have time since I am getting back in the habit of writing sketch comedy daily. At this point, I plan to move to Chicago to study improvisation at The Second City while doing film school simultaneously, all while running into debt. At least I'll make some money off of the blog as I plan to ease into the sitcom/film marketplace. I just through out all my law school brochures. I should have done that it December.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Weekend Thread

Dial up is a pain, so I might just have to only update this in the mornings that I have class from the library.

My brother just asked for the Gordy video. How strange. He's been busy all week planning this summer's vacation consisting of U.S. Cellular Field, Miller Park, and Second City. Before those two, Great American Ballpark. Later, there's Busch Stadium.

Maybe one of the reasons I am in the entertainment field is to help bring back the quality of television. Maybe that's why all us guys watch sports. Most of the other stuff like reality tv is crap.

Consider American Dreams. It is a great show with a talented cast and it should be renewed.
American Dreams is a critically acclaimed show about coming of age in the 1960s. It airs on NBC, or rather aired. In recent weeks many readers have contacted me to express their hope that A.D. will be renewed for a fourth season.

They have heard the rumors of the show's imminent demise (true, unfortunately), and they cannot understand why there is no place on the NBC schedule for this wholesome, imaginative program.

It is true that ratings for American Dreams are less than swell. The show averaged fewer than 8 million viewers a week on Sundays, and those numbers dropped after it was moved to Wednesdays. But those ratings were better than for another A.D. — Fox's Arrested Development, which was averaging not quite 6 million viewers on Sundays.

And yet, American Dreams is dead, dead, dead in the water while Arrested Development, the winner of last year's Emmy Award for outstanding comedy program, actually has a slim chance of being renewed for a third season.

This is where being on the right network may make all the difference.

Just a year ago NBC was the top-rated network among adults ages 18 to 49 — the group Madison Avenue wants watching their ads and will pay handsomely to reach. This year NBC will finish fourth in that demographic, an unprecedented slide for a network.

As a result, NBC is in no position to hang onto "underperformers" like American Dreams. Executives there are looking for new shows that will give the network a rocket boost, much like the one last year's fourth-place network, ABC, experienced by hitching its wagon to “Desperate Housewives” and Lost. At NBC, a show like American Dreams is a liability, not an asset.
Why NBC, why? Even SNL wasn't canned in the dreaded 1980-81 season. Don't ever air a comedy without a laugh track. It doesn't work. Heck, read about the campaign yet?
Meanwhile, American Dreams, a family drama set in Philadelphia during the 1960s, was canceled despite viewer protests that reportedly inundated the network with letters, postcards and e-mails. There seemed to be some hope that the grassroots campaign might actually work when the network asked the production company not to tear down the sets, but you can bet they are being dismantled by now.
I've never advocated so hard for a television show in my entire life.

Scott Rolen is out for a few weeks while Jason Isringhausen is back from the disabled list.

Johnny Damon has hit safely in 18 games now.

I don't know when tomorrow's update will be. I'll play it by ear.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Open Thread

NBC drops Law and Order: Trial by Jury. WB might be dropping Summerland as well. There goes another show dealing with family values. I relate to that show and I have a friend in the cast as well. I've got an idea: Drop all the reality tv crap that is on television. It's cheap production, where we see people humiliate themselves in front of a national audience. I don't care to see someone living in the jungle for 40 days on television when the production is cheap. Pay actors and comedians who have worked their butt off forever to get on the small screen or big screen. Why do the networks always drop the good programs that have good plotlines in favor of programs that don't pay much.

I got a call from the Friends of John Kerry today asking for $110 contribution. I don't have the finances to donate. The guy lost. Get over it. He didn't win in 2004 and he won't win in 2008.

The state of Israel is 57 years old.

Mazel tov to Henry Waxman. the California congressman has asked Condi Rice to sever ties with British schools that have voted to divest from Israel.
Britain’s Association of University Teachers voted to boycott two Israeli universities last month, and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) wants schools and professors who abide by the boycott to be made ineligible for U.S. grants and exchanges.

"This boycott is the worst form of censorship," Waxman wrote Thursday to Rice. "It is a blatant assault on academic freedom that goes against everything the United States stands for."

Haifa University has threatened to sue the British teacher’s group, and Bar-Ilan University, the other school slated for boycott, has opened a Web site to build support.
It certainly is the worst form of censorship. Rice should sever ties with those schools. Divesting hurts the economy. It hurts the learning process. I could go on and say it hurts America but I don't have a big enough reputation to where I can get rid of a television program.

B'nai B'rith International has slammed the United Nations. Rightly so. The UN had it coming.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, the group issued a report card Thursday, giving the United Nations unsatisfactory marks in promoting self-determination, protecting basic human rights, and preventing genocide. The group rated the United Nations "poor" for upholding peace and security and "fair" in providing humanitarian relief.

B’nai B’rith issued the report card as it holds its second annual mission to the United Nations. Some 90 B’nai B’rith activists from four continents met with representatives from 60 countries at the United Nations on Thursday. The mission´s agenda was pushing for U.N. reform, particularly a more balanced approach to the Middle East, full withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and the disarming of Lebanese-based militias, and stopping genocide in Sudan.
Johnny Damon has a 17 game hitting streak. One more tonight and he ties his own record.

Evan Bayh and Joe Lieberman have made some statements on the base closings.
The political fight over the proposed changes has already begun. Connecticut’s naval submarine base in Groton is on the Pentagon's hit list. Senator Joe Lieberman called that plan irrational and irresponsible. "It insults our history and endangers our future," he says.

Some critics say the changes are misguided in a time of war. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said they're needed to respond to 21st century challenges, abroad and at home.[...]

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh says that, on balance, today's announcement from the Pentagon on proposed base closings and realignments is good news for the state.

He says Indiana stands to gain more than 2,000 jobs because of additional work being moved to Fort Benjamin Harrison and other bases in the state. The best news is that the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center will remain open.

Bayh says he'll continue to fight for the jobs that are being cut.
This was in an email sent to me and it is very disturbing to read.
A pastor tells congregants they must resign if they don't vote for George Bush.

U.S. Air Force Academy cadets and staff are pressured to attend church services, and Jews and members of other minority faiths are subjected to derision.

More than 1,000 Ohio pastors are asked to register 400,000 new "values voters" in Ohio in an event this week with Republican politicians.

What do these recent news reports all have in common? They powerfully demonstrate a basic truth: religious liberty in America is threatened when the separation between church and state is willfully ignored.
If I haven't been reading your blog lately, it's because I no longer have the time with going to school three hours a day and working for another few hours a day.

This could be a quote of the day:
"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are [a] few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 11/8/54

I am beginning to lose my patience with dial-up.

Email Jeff Zucker to help save American Dreams.