Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hillary #2 On Obama Ticket = Political Suicide

Those who still insist on writing off Hillary Clinton's remarkable comeback in the Democratic primary race as too little too late, now are switching to positioning her as a likely choice to be Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate.

For some who are just starting out or in the middle of their political careers, with no place to go but up, that is a good idea. For others, who are already at the top of their game, it is a bad idea.

For Hillary Clinton, that is a really bad idea.

How so I arrive at this conclusion? Let me count the ways.

First, Obama has not won the Democratic nomination and isn't likely to win the nomination between here and the Democratic convention in August. I say that even though the media, most of which seems to be working for Obama's campaign, are on a feeding frenzy of deliberately misreporting what she said a few days ago about it not being unusual for political candidates to still be fighting for the nomination right down to the wire.

Mrs. Clinton used the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in June 1968 as well as her own husband's campaign in 1992 as timeline examples of primary battles going well into June. The media and the Obama camp immediately said that she really was bringing up Kennedy's assassination because Obama apparently has received threats on the campaign trail.

As if Mrs. Clinton hasn't! You really have to have a serious brain protein deficiency to believe that one.

But she didn't say that and all you have to do to confirm it for yourself is watch the video of her comments. Then watch the news commentators. Get Fox and Friends Weekend to replay the segment from 8 a.m. Sunday, east coast time and you'll see what I mean. Talk about total distortion! Wow!

Fortunately, the panel on Fox News Sunday spoke of it during the 9 a.m. show and redeemed the Fox Network. Every single commentator on the panel, beginning with Brit Hume, got it right. At least we can still count on FNS.

Not that Chris Wallace didn't hammer the b'daylights out of Clinton's campaign manager, Terry McAuliffe, about it earlier in the show. But McAuliffe can handle himself in the tight spots and he never once wavered from the position that Mrs. Clinton was using the Kennedy Assassination only as a timeline reference, and if you watch the video you can see that.

Robert Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Attorney General, also stated publicly that he didn't think Mrs. Clinton did anything wrong in her statement.

Frankly, I think the overkill and the misreporting on this issue has been so bad that Mrs. Clinton probably will get backlash votes in her favor from Democrats in Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota who see this as nothing more than a cheap and tawdry attempt to fabricate an issue to help Obama.

Beyond that issue though, another reason why I don't think Mrs. Clinton will gain from being Obama's running mate is that if he wins, and goes on to a second term, she will have no chance to ever run for president again.

She doesn't strike me as the type of person who wants to be known in history as the first woman Vice President, when she still has a chance to be nominated to run for the first woman President. Hillary Clinton is an 'A' personality, and labored in the shadow of her husband for far too long to give up this easily, this close.

She still has strong support from women voters in the Democratic ranks, and those who have backed her from the beginning don't want her to bow out, back down, or take a back seat to Obama.

Third, I don't think there is a snowball's chance in a forest fire of Obama winning the presidency if he does get nominated. People don't vote in huge percentages for the vice presidential nominee in November, they vote for the person at the top of the ticket.

If that person is Barack Obama, I don't expect him to do well at all. His popularity in his own party has been steadily declining, he isn't winning the late votes, and he isn't popular in the wider world of the general electorate.

As a point of reference, remember Sen. Joe Lieberman's run in Connecticut two years ago? Lieberman lost his own party's nomination because he was tough enough and smart enough to see that the WMD issue in Iraq was just a smoke screen and we really did need to root out terrorists there, and support the troops.

But after the extreme left in his party nominated anti-war critic Ned Lamont, Lieberman broke off and ran an independent race for his Senate seat. Lamont spent millions of his own money in his campaign, but Lieberman beat both Lamont and the GOP nominee handily.

The far left may run the Democratic party, but it doesn't hold much sway in the general election. Couple that with Obama's numerous unsavory associations, his anti-war rhetoric that will haunt him now that our troops have dominated the terrorists in Iraq and the Iraqi army is taking over, and this will not be a popular position if he gets the nomination.

Obama most likely will not do better in the general election than Hillary Clinton would and if he is nominated it does absolutely nothing for her to run as his second-string. It would mean the end of her career, nothing more.

Oddly enough, I noticed Sunday that Fox News has suddenly shaved 10 points off the number of delegates Obama needs to win the nomination on a first vote. Tuesday night when Hillary trounced him in Kentucky it was 65, then by the next day it down to 63, then suddenly today it was 53.

I have no idea where they keep coming up with new numbers, and frankly they don't mean anything anyway, but even using that new low as a target here is what he has to do to beat her.

Democrats in Puerto Rico vote June 1 and 55 delegates are at stake. Clinton has been well ahead of Obama all along, but let's say the media effort to hand the nomination to Obama works in his favor.

He comes from behind and edges her enough to split the vote. He gets 28 to her 27. Then Montana with 16 delegates and South Dakota with 15, vote on June 3. Let's say that through some miracle he lambastes her by a 70-30 vote in Montana, which gives him 11 delegates and also by 70-30 in South Dakota whereby he gets 10.

That still brings him up four delegates short at 47, maybe 48 if they use fractions! Meaning, he has to do even better than just beating her in Puerto Rico. He is going to have to beat her by a 60-40 margin in Puerto Rico to win this.

Democratic voters in Puerto Rico already are chanting "Hillary, esa es mi candidata." Do you really think this fabricated media blitz is going to alter that? I don't.

If I was Terry McAuliffe I'd get my hands on that video of Mrs. Clinton talking to the editorial board where she made the reference to 1968 and put it prominently on my website, and then post some of the videos of the media deliberately misreporting it for comparison. Not on the HUB section of the website either, but right out front on the TV section of her homepage.

Then I'd get out of the way because the backlash would be something to see.

Oh, and let's not forget that the Democratic National Party is having a big meeting on May 31 to try to figure out what to do about Mrs. Clinton winning Florida and Michigan. If they give any delegates to her, and even if they give some to him, it negates the 2025 number that the media and the Obama campaign have been using all year as the target he has to meet to secure the nomination.

So, let's recap. It is highly unlikely that he will get enough delegates from Puerto Rico - especially considering her deep roots there and his Barack-Come-Lately efforts - nor in Montana and South Dakota to put this nomination away.

Even if he does, it isn't likely he will win the general election, and even if he does, she gets to play second string for the remainder of her career. Yahoo! What a choice.

I agree with Brit Hume's assessment on FNS today. I think this is going to the convention, and a fighter like Hillary Clinton can not be counted out 'til she really is down and can't get back up, not one nano-second sooner.
Friday, May 23, 2008

Hillary's Kennedy Comment Shows It's Not the COLOR of Obama's Skin; It's the THINNESS of His Skin

Yeah, it's all Obama, all the time. It's always about him, and even if it isn't he'll make something up so he can squirm his way into the headlines and make believe it is.

This guy is either way too sensitive or way too paranoid to be president. Or both. And the media is right there to cater to his sensitivities and paranoia.

What am I yammering about? Hillary Clinton's comment at an editorial board interview today in which she made a couple of references to Democratic primary races in relatively recent political history that went well into June, not just hers.

She mentioned how her husband was still fighting well into June back in 1992, and how Bobby Kennedy was in a tight primary race in June 1968 when he was assassinated.

So immediately, Obama's camp claims she is threatening him, obliquely. And the media all went whacko about it. Are you freakin' serious? Have any of you looked into a mirror lately to see if you are real?

I remember Bobby Kennedy's assassination for an entirely different reason than political primaries. It was because I was up to my eye teeth flying combat missions in Vietnam and got a letter from home talking about it. We had heard about it, of course, but the letter said that it was a terrible thing for our country and how sad it was.

By that time I had been in Vietnam long enough to see more than a little bit of battlefield death, and yet I felt moved by that letter and the sadness contained in it.

But when Hillary Clinton mentioned it today, I did not for even an instant think she was talking about something similar happening to Barack Obama.

And for once I don't agree with a single member of the Fox News Special Report panel or any of its additional commentators all of whom said Friday night that it was a terrible gaffe, and the end of her campaign, and toxic, and on and on and on. Wishful thinking boys and girls, wishful thinking.

Hillary Clinton is not my candidate and she has taken her share of hits in this column, as has Obama and even some of the GOP candidates from time to time. But as I wrote the other day, she is going to get enough of the delegates in the last three primaries to keep Obama from getting the nomination locked up before the Democratic convention and thus there will be a floor fight, barring an onslaught of Biblical proportions.

So what? That my friends is democracy, at least as it is practiced in the Democratic Party. So deal with it.

But to maintain that her use of the Bobby Kennedy assassination as a time-frame reference really was a veiled threat is beyond thin skinned and paranoid, it's manipulative and cheap. Barack's comments in response to her statements are far more of an insult to the memory of Bobby Kennedy than anything Hillary Clinton said.

According to news reports, Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton (can we safely say here that he was speaking for his boss, the candidate?) rebuked Clinton, saying her remark was "unfortunate and has no place in this campaign." It's safe to consider that since the candidate didn't rebuke his spokesman, he agreed with Burton's comments, thus Barack owns them.

On the other hand, the press also quoted Robert Kennedy Jr., a Clinton supporter, as saying, "I've heard her make this reference before . . . I understand that the atmosphere is supercharged right now but I think it's a mistake for people to take offense." Do you think the son of the late RFK has a right to have some input on this issue?

And though it never made the Daily News, a snippet in the New York Times read, "Privately, aides to Mr. Obama were furious about the remark."

Clinton made a similar statement in a Time magazine interview in March. There was no reaction that time. I guess back then no one was super sensitive to her snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, were they, my 'opic' friends?

Got enough quotes for you to support my position? Here's a couple more from press reports.

Debra Kozikowski, an uncommitted super delegate from Sen. Ted Kennedy's home state of Massachusetts, fumed as she called the comment "inappropriate," especially given what's happened with the Kennedy family in the past week.

"She must need sleep, is all I can say," she told The New York Post. "I can't think of any reason why anyone would say anything that insensitive. And that apology was a non-apology."

People have many points of reference for remembering things in the past. Traumatic events are just one. If you watch the video, you see quite clearly that Hillary Clinton was making a timeline reference, nothing else.

Get over yourselves people. This inside-the-beltway rhetoric and political codeword commentary is tiresome. If you know something that the rest of America doesn't, then tell us, that's what you are supposed to do.

If you just wish that Hillary would quit and go away, hell, say so! Maybe everyone else feels the same way but hasn't come out and said it yet. You'd be regarded as the next great prophets.

But whether Hillary Clinton's comment was a slip of the tongue, a gaffe or -- shudder -- a veiled threat to the black guy to watch his step or else -- it isn't going to change the outcome of the June primaries.

Unless of course the media blows it up into a huge make believe issue, adds quotes and intents that were never said or meant, and does a major hit job on her in Puerto Rico for the next week.

But our media would never do that would they? This is the free world, independent, fair, balanced, straight down the middle media, the disciples of the 'great' Walter Cronkite, Uncle Walter, The Most Trusted Man In America. People who followed in Uncle Walter's steps would never lie or try to manipulate the American people.

Would they?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bristol Road Race Showcases Vets, and Supports Fisher House

If you are looking for something to do this Memorial Day weekend and would like it to be meaningful, troop related and good for you how about trying a 5K road race to support the families of military personnel who have been injured.

Co-sponsored by the Newman Creed & Associates law firm, and the American Legion the race will be run on Memorial Boulevard in Bristol, Connecticut, and will benefit the Fisher House Foundation.

The race course is flat, covering 5 kilometers (3.5 miles)and is suitable for wheelchairs. It consists of two laps of the course and will start and finish at the north end of Memorial Boulevard near the intersection with Main Street.

The race will be run south along the Boulevard, west on Downs Street, then north on South Street and then west on Main Street. The Boulevard will be closed during the event.

There will be prizes for males, females, age divisions, and walkers are welcome as well.

Registration forms are on line at They can be faxed back to
860-582-0012 or participants can register between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on race day. There is a $35 registration fee which is tax deductible and each runner will receive a free souvenir T-shirt.

The Fisher House Foundation builds and maintains long-term residential facilities near military hospitals nationwide for the families of seriously injured soldiers, and sometimes the soldiers themselves, who need a place to stay during the long rehabilitation process. This is a vital need which is not covered by any other resource and there is no charge to the soldier or his family for this support.

There are more than 32 Fisher Houses nationwide. Since 1990, they have provided services to over 8,500 military families who have stayed over a million days, while supporting their soldier during rehabilitation.

Once built the facility is supported by contributions and openings are granted in reverse order of rank, so that the lower ranking enlisted soldiers, with less disposable income, get first chance at the housing.

To say that this is a worthy event, and deserves our support is not even scratching the surface. For those of you who like to get and jog in the morning, why not drive over to Bristol early Saturday and do your running there? It isn't a long race, and you don't have to be competitive unless you want to, so there really isn't any reason not to participate is there?

Runners should park at the north end of Memorial Boulevard. There is a free parking lot available across from Webster Bank at 150 Main Street, Bristol, approximately 50 yards from the starting line.

Call 860-583-5200 or go to website to download a registration form for the Fisher House Road Race on May 24th.

Memorial Day is not really about picnics and frivolity. It is about remembering those who served so we can live free. What better way to start the weekend and honor our troops?

Dems Going to the Convention; Obama Can't Swing It!

Check the numbers folks. Barack Obama needs 63 delegate votes out of the remaining 86 to get to the mythical 2025 that he and the Mainstream Media claim would give him the majority of committed - not Super - delegates and the Democratic nomination to run for President of the United States.

There are three primaries left, Puerto Rico with 55 delegates, Montana with 16 and South Dakota with 15.

Obama needs all of Montana and South Dakota's delegates, which would give him 31, then he also needs 32 of Puerto Rico's 55 to get the magic 63. That is assuming that the national Democrats slit their own throats on May 31 and persist with their refusal to seat any delegates from Michigan and Florida, which both went for Hillary Clinton. If they do seat all or part of the Florida and Michigan delegations, the 2025 number means nothing. The equation will have to be recalculated, and it won't come out in Obama's favor.

But there is a problem with the equation that gives Obama 63 delegates in the last three primaries. First, he won't get all of the delegates in Montana and South Dakota, but more important, news reports say he is trailing Hillary Clinton in Puerto Rico.

To get enough delegates from Puerto Rico he will need at least 60 percent of the vote, assuming that he wins all of Montana and South Dakota's delegates. Pretty hard to do when she is on a popular vote roll. That makes it highly unlikely that he will even get a majority of the delegates there, much less more than 60 percent of them. If Hillary gets even five delegates each from Montana and South Dakota, Obama's required numbers increase to impossible levels in the range of 80 percent of Puerto Rico's delegates.

Barring a miracle, or Armageddon, or a Holocaust, or a plague, or a flood, or pestilence or divine intervention, Barack Obama can NOT get to the magic 2025 number with the primaries that are left. West Virginia and Kentucky went for Hillary in huge numbers and put a major smackdown on all the conventional wisdom that said the campaign was over.

Taking that as the real deal, let's look at another issue. Terence Richard "Terry" McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, and former Democratic National Chairman.

Rush Limbaugh refers to him as 'the punk' such is the animosity between those two giants of differing political philosophies. That aside, McAuliffe is a street fighter at heart, and if you think for a minute that as Hiilary's campaign manager he won't be pulling out all stops on the convention floor to get the delegates swinging her way, you aren't paying attention.

Remember, Hillary has pulled a huge chunk of the popular vote in the last two months. She took in excess of 100,000 more votes between Oregon and Kentucky than Obama. She has momentum, and people in the category of rank and file voters are deserting Obama's cause in droves. He has 'peaked,' in political parlance.

And let's talk about this issue of 'peaking' for just a minute. This is what political strategists shoot for when they know they have a flawed candidate.

They bring their guy out for the public and media to see, and for a bit he looks like a real breath of fresh air. Everyone likes him, his numbers soar and for a bit he appears to be the designated candidate.

But then people who really know this candidate start talking amongst themselves. The talk starts getting out to a skeptical media which ignores it, because the media doesn't like turning around on itself.

But eventually the talk gets too loud, it is on the blogosphere, competing news organizations start looking into the talk to see if there is validity behind it, and suddenly reluctance to publish turns into a rush to publish.

Then the candidate's numbers start dropping and the strategists pray that they can stem the flow long enough to get past a certain voting date. That is what has happened to Barack Obama and in his case, time ran out and he didn't get what he needed.

Now, he is screwed.

This doesn't mean that he won't eventually get the nomination. But it means it is not assured, and there will be one hell of a fight at the Democratic convention. That fight is absolutely necessary for the Democrats because regardless of the coverage from the fawning media, Barack Obama can't beat John McCain.

Where did I get that? From the money that suddenly is pouring into McCain's coffers. Where do you think that is coming from? Mainstream Americans ladies and gentlemen.

They were really ready to give Barack Obama a chance back in the winter and early spring, but he spit in America's face, and all the king's democrats and all the king's media can't change what is in people's hearts.

It is Hillary or nothing if the Democrats are to mount any kind of challenge to McCain in November - she knows it, and so does Terry McAuliffe.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Barack "Cartman" Obama; Make Me Some South Park Pie 'Sweetie'

OK, so if you are keeping score on the things that we can't talk about or discuss with Barack Obama, the shadowy, mysterious guy who would be our president, we now have to add to the list his wife Michelle who can say anything she wants about our country, but you better not call her on it.

The Obamas appeared on a network television show yesterday morning and he got all manly and macho, telling the GOP they better not mess with his woman. This was in response to an ad run by the Tennessee Republican party in which a couple of guys, one playing pool with an arsenal of firearms on the wall behind him, said they are proud to be red-blooded Americans. (Yeah, I know. But this isn't about the commercial.)

The commercial was in response to a remark made by Michelle Obama on the campaign trail a couple months back when she said that this is the first time in her adult life that she has been proud of her country.

Mr. Obama, as opposed to Mrs. Obama, said yesterday that the GOP is only running sound bites and snippets of her remarks to give a false impression of her comments. To be polite this represents a significant drift from reality, since it is likely that most Americans have seen her comments in their entirety in one form or another either on the news or the Internet, and she said what she said.

Nonetheless, Mr. O made it clear that nobody better say anything about his wife regardless of what she says or does. He didn't say what would happen if someone takes his wife to task on this or other issues, but it was clear that ignoring this warning will incur the wrath of Obama, whatever that might be.

Why didn't he just quietly sit down with her outside the sight and hearing of the campaign workers and media and say "Hon, we all have issues and I understand that. But if you really expect to be the First Lady of the United States of America, it would be helpful if the voters think you actually love your country."

But that apparently is not the Obama way. That would have been a modern, reasonable, forward thinking response. Instead, he goes all retro on us and stands between his wife and the world, giving the obvious impression that she isn't capable of thinking for herself, and certainly not defending herself.

And this isn't the only incident that gives us a glimpse into his true personality. Consider, that just last week when a female news reporter covering his campaign asked him a question he called her "Sweetie" and put her off.

Put these two incidents together and you get an image of Barack Obama that is NOT a strong, capable, quiet macho man, but rather an insecure, arrogant womanizer.

He comes across as the Eric Cartman of the Democratic Party. For those of you who aren't familiar with Eric Cartman, he is a foul-mouthed elementary school-aged character on the South Park animated comedy show.

Cartman's mother waits on him hand and foot, spoiling him to the point that he thinks the world owes him everything. He is overweight from eating junk food - especially "Cheesy Poofs" - and watching TV instead of exercising. Sometimes he even eats chocolate covered Cheesy Poofs and when someone calls him fat, he responds "I'm not fat, I'm just big boned."

Classic denial.

Cartman is continually scheming to get everything that everyone else has for himself, and weaves incredibly complicated webs to convince those around him that when he wants what they have, they should feel guilty and he should have it.

But it is Cartman's attitude toward women that reminds me of Obama. Take these Cartman comments for instance:

"If some sissy chick tried to kick my ass I would say, Hey, Missy! Go knit me a sweater before I slap you in the face!"


"I would never let a woman kick my ass. If she tried something, I'd be like, HEY! You get your ... ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!"

Now, to be fair, the self-ordained Democratic nominee didn't go that far, but what exactly is the translation in Obama-speak, when he responds to a legitimate question from a female reporter that he doesn't want to answer by calling her "Sweetie."

Reporter Peggy Agar, of WXYZ television in Michigan, asked Obama while he toured a Chrysler plant in Detroit what he would do to help American auto workers.

Obama said: "Hold on one second, sweetie" and did not answer. News reports said he later left a phone message for the reporter saying it was a "bad habit" and he "meant no disrespect."

It was the second time Obama had been caught using the 'S' word. He also used it referring to a factory worker in Pennsylvania in April.

I see.

The reporter didn't push the sexism issue, although if I were in the Hillary Clinton camp I certainly would recommend it. She (the reporter) merely responded, "People in Michigan have to make a decision about who they're going to vote for ... [Obama] could take a second to say what he's going to do for them."

Works for her I guess.

So, let's recap here. We can't talk about Obama's race, his white heritage, his black heritage, his Muslim relatives, his ears, his middle name (Hussein), his religion, his pastor - the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his friendship with communist terrorists who spent the 60s and 70s trying to blow up and overthrow the country he wants to lead, his association with racketeers, his land deals, his house, his adjacent lawn, and certainly, unquestionably, no kidding around about this, his wife.

What does this leave us to talk about?

Maybe he can get a female reporter and a female factory worker to sit down with him and work up a list of acceptable subject areas. He can have them sitting around the kitchen table kneading pie dough for a campaign-quality photo op.

The caption could have him telling them "When you are done with the Pie, get me some Cheesy Poofs too! Sweetie!"

Female reporters might not think anything about it, but I bet the female factory worker could use another Cartman line for the appropriate response.

"Screw you guys, I'm going home."
Saturday, May 17, 2008

When Is It Really Equality; Californians Will Have a Say

What with all the discussion and bickering going on in the Democratic presidential primaries over just what constitutes racism and who is engaging in it, I think it is appropriate to run this column from my friend Melanie Morgan, Chairwoman of Move America Forward, the country's largest pro-troop organization.

Melanie writes regularly for World Net Daily and forwarded me this weeks column for that organization with her permission to use it here.

Ideological idiots dumb down UC system

By Melanie Morgan

In 1996, California experienced an earthquake that jolted the education and political establishment as the UC Board of Regents voted in San Francisco to end racial discrimination in college admissions. I was broadcasting live from UCSF when the historic vote came down. Immediately, the liberal establishment went ballistic, accusing conservatives who pushed the measure of racism, the standard tactic of the left.

After all the bombast, an even larger aftershock was felt as California voters then passed Proposition 209, the "California Civil Rights Initiative," which cemented the push for color-blind admissions into the state's colleges and universities. Voters in 51 of the state's 58 counties supported the measure, which was the brainchild of then-University of California Regent Ward Connerly.

At a time when reverse discrimination and race-identity politics were flaming hot in California, Ward Connerly's ballot measure was brilliant in its cool simplicity.

The racial identity politics crowd orchestrated marches in the streets, demanding equality for all people, while advancing inequitable programs and regulations such as quotas and mandates that showcased a deep hypocrisy in their souls.

So Connerly said to the public: Let's just evaluate people based on their abilities and proven record of success.

It was then that we got to see the true nature of the social engineering crowd, fueled by race-obsessed liberals. Undermining Prop 209 has been a cottage industry for the left ever since its passage, and now these leftists are within spitting distance of defying the will of the people once more. We have but a few week's time to stop them.

The University of California Board of Regents will be considering a proposal to change freshman admissions standards at their UC Regents meeting that takes place July 15-17.

The new proposal would create an end-around California's Proposition 209 by lowering admissions standards and providing fewer opportunities for high-performing students across the state. Merit and potential are taking a back seat as liberal educrats tell some of the best students of the state that they will be denied an education at the top-drawer UC system – their spot given to someone with lower grades and lower test scores.

Currently, students applying to the UC system whose high school GPA is in the top 12.5 percent of students statewide have an admissions guarantee. Under the new proposal, the guarantee would apply to students in the top 12.5 percent of their school, not statewide.

This means that students who are struggling academically, but have the "good fortune" to go to a low-performing school, will be given preferential treatment over smarter students at better schools.

Can you imagine the dilemma that will face parents as they decide whether deliberately to put their first-graders into bad schools so they will have a better shot at one day going to college?

I am writing about this situation because my own 17-year-old son is going through the college application process himself (Mommy migraines abound), and while he has pretty decent grades with a GPA of 3.7, he is not going to the top-tier UC school of his choice. So if his spot is given to a Latino, African-American or Asian-American student, or a student of any color with better grades, then I think the system is working pretty well.

The Regents apparently see things differently.

They also plan to call for more dumbing down of the requirements for admission exams. Currently, students are required to take two SAT Subject Tests as part of the application process. Gallingly, under the new proposal, the Subject Test requirement would be eliminated, and ironically, this creates a new obstacle toward admittance for thousands of eligible Asian-American, Black and Latino students.

The proposal would open admissions to students who complete as little as 73 percent of specified standards for admission certified by UC at each high school, with a minimum GPA of 2.8.

The bottom line is this – liberal education bureaucrats are setting into place a plan to punish kids who succeed, and instead rewarding youngsters who will be set-up to fail in the highly competitive UC system.

It's a disgrace, it's not fair and it's a shameless diminishment of our education system. These so-called geniuses in the education field are running a campaign to fool us into thinking that "diversity" is more important than educational quality, but I am hoping that parents in California (and across the country) are smarter than these ideological idiots.

Speaking of dumb ideas, at the University of California San Diego, administrators are complaining that too many students are opting not to identify their ethnicity when applying.

Good for them. If the goal of living in a color-blind society in America is focused on rewarding merit and achievement, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, then that is how we should conduct our affairs.

We must be blind to the color of people's skins. We must be concerning ourselves instead with the goodness of the heart, the content of our character and the soundness of our minds.

That was Martin Luther King's dream in 1963. It remains my dream today.
Friday, May 16, 2008

Jesus Christ Superstar; Good For the Soul, and the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts

I mentioned last week that I had shared an airplane ride from Chicago to Hartford, Connecticut, with the national touring cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, and that I would be attending the show at Hartford's Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts to see what had changed in the 30-some years it has been on the scene.

The good news is that the heart and soul of the original is alive and well, carried to new heights by a cast that includes some incredibly talented newcomers, as well as veteran Ted Neeley, who has been playing the role of Jesus nearly his entire adult life, and who outdid himself. I attended the last show the cast performed in Hartford before it left for its next stop on the tour, and came away with the same sense of appreciation I had 30 years ago.

There is no bad news.

On the plane I was talking with Darrel Whitney, who plays the high priest Caiaphas, about the history of the show and its impact on America when it was first produced.

I noted how the period from late 60s through the 70s was a turbulent time for America, and that even though I was a proud Vietnam veteran, and not a war opponent or protester, I still shared many misgivings about our government and where our society was heading. It was a "Do as I do, not as I say," environment back then, at least in the part of it I inhabited, and it left me with many doubts and concerns.

Nearly four decades later we are experiencing similar upheaval in our country and around the world. It seems to be an appropriate time to revisit the show and the issues it raised.

When Jesus Christ Superstar first was released it was avant garde, challenging dogma both in society and it the theater. I wasn't sure what to expect when I went to see it at what then was the Bushnell Auditorium.

I left that show a convert, to the modern theater and to Jesus Christ Superstar. I enjoyed it conceptually, I enjoyed it artistically, and even though there were some in America who thought it sacrilegious, I had the opposite impression. I came away from that first production with the sense that while much of the religious interpretation I had been raised with had its flaws, the base on which those interpretations rested was solid.

I also reviewed the play a dozen years ago or so when I was still working as a journalist, finding it somewhat changed but still worthy. I took a critic's eye into this latest performance too.

Has Jesus Christ Superstar aged? Yes, and it wears that aging well, like fine wine or cheese. Neeley can still hit the high notes his role requires, but he has added something on the lower ranges that was lacking in his early years, a depth that gives him and the role a sense of maturity. Having seen it now, I realize it was missing way back when.

In the original, the show was challenging establishment concepts about society and religion and it was done through the eyes of a youthful Jesus, who suffers for questioning authority.

But it occurred to me that when the real Jesus lived more than 2,000 years ago, the entire period of his rise to fame and ultimately to crucifixion occurred when he was in his 30s. At that time in human history living to 40 was a major and not necessarily common accomplishment.

In real life, Jesus would have been somewhat of an elder, and while not a member of the establishment, he certainly was more aware and informed than the youth of his time. His preaching would not have come from the pulpit of an inexperienced and idealistic youngster, but more from the position of an experienced rebel.

Jesus, in short, would have been an authority figure.

That is what I found in Neeley's role in this incarnation - no pun intended. He exuded a sense of authority, of knowledge, of leadership. I found it to be a welcome outgrowth of the original role.

Neeley was supported by a cast that I found to be particularly enjoyable. Whitney's Caiaphas was a mixture of the sinister and the macabre, totally as a result of his ability to use the remarkable range of his basso profundo vocals to reach somewhere down in the darkness of a bottomless well, and then rebound, if not to the heights, at least to the foothills.

I enjoyed the range of his voice and the energy he put into his role.

By the same token, I enjoyed Corey Glover who played Judas, and I'm not just saying that because I also appreciated Glover's acting when he played Private Francis in the movie Platoon. I thought he did a fine job on the tortured role of a man who once was a true believer but now is disenchanted and sick of it all.

I can say that of many of the roles - such as Aaron Fuska playing Herrod. I also really, really liked his backup singers, for their voices, the humor they presented in the roles they played, and certainly for their costumes. Hey, this is theater, I can go for any reason whatsoever - even if I'm there for the lighting and scenery.

Read down the list of the cast in the playbill and I can tell you that each person, playing each role, did at least as well in this version as their counterpart in the original. I am far more experienced in matters of the theater now than I was in the 70s, yet this cast was just as capable of leaving me with the knowledge that I had enjoyed an evening of great theater.

And last, but certainly not least, was Tiffini Dodson playing Mary Magdalene. To put it bluntly, I believe she did that role as well or better than anyone I have seen play it before her. The range and power of that woman's voice was awe inspiring, and she exuded a passion for the role that made suspension of disbelief as automatic as breathing.

If there is a proof to my opinions here, not that I need any, it comes in the reaction of a young teen who was in my group on the night we attended Jesus Christ Superstar.

I waited until the next day to ask her reaction to the play to give her time to absorb and digest it all. I also asked her about Dodson's vocals since the young woman in question is a budding vocalist in her own right, but needs a few more years of training before she can start auditioning.

The response to the play, was that it provided a terrific evening of entertainment, and its message came across clearly.

Regarding Tiffini Dodson, the reaction was that she had revealed a possible future for a young woman who is just finding that she has talents that one day could lead to her own roles. Thus Dodson, and in fact the entire case, provided not just entertainment but also knowledge and instruction.

That is a good deal - for the audience, for the Bushnell Auditorium for the Performing Arts, and for the national touring cast of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Sunday, May 11, 2008

What If Clinton Forces Second Convention Vote on Obama?

I am not by any means an expert on political convention procedures, Republican or Democrat, but I do know that somewhere in the process, if a first vote doesn't produce a clear nominee, pledged delegates are released to vote their own minds.

What happens to the ever so well-crafted numbers that the media has been throwing at us for months now if the first vote doesn't produce a nominee? What happens if Hillary Clinton gets enough delegates in the remaining primaries to deny Barack Obama the majority he needs to claim victory?

Yes, I am aware that the Democrats use "Super" delegates who ostensibly are free to vote their consciences, and that as of today Obama was claiming that he had more than Clinton.

But a lot can happen between now and convention time and Super Delegates are in play right up to the instant they vote. So that number can change overnight, and if Obama doesn't have enough committed delegates to get the nomination on the first vote, what happens next?

At what point do the committed delegates get released from their commitments, regardless of whether they are committed to Clinton or Obama?

Based on most of the opinions I have heard from the political scene in recent weeks, Clinton will win West Virginia handily, Kentucky by a decent margin, as well as Puerto Rico, with Oregon, Montana and South Dakota up for grabs.

So essentially, we'll finish up the Democratic primary season in something near a dead heat, with Obama a tiny bit ahead in the committed delegate count, but not over the top.

That however, doesn't include the primaries in Florida and Michigan that Clinton won but the Democrats aren't counting.

And please, don't bore me with this "Obama didn't run in Michigan" nonsense. Who's fault is that? Yeah, His!

How typically Democratic in concept. The man didn't do what he needed to do to win all the states regardless of the technicalities involved, so now he is a victim of his own system?

Obama doesn't get any Michigan numbers because he wrote that state off and that is too bad. But the Democratic party is cutting its own throat by excluding the opinions of millions of voters who could care less what the bigwigs in their party did with their primary schedules.

That is not helpful to Obama, nor is his "victim" attitude.

If you include Clinton's victories in Florida and Michigan in this count, the whole picture changes.

Obama's playing the race card repeatedly isn't helping him either. He won big in North Carolina because nearly half the Democratic voters in North Carolina are black, and 90+ percent of them voted for Obama.

But nationwide, blacks account for one-eighth of the population and while it certainly is desirable to have a large voting bloc in your camp, and the voice of African-Americans certainly should be heard and heeded, that percentage can't win on its own.

Here is the dirty little secret that most political newscasters and commentators don't want to address in their unending quest for political correctness.

White people by and large are pissed at Obama. Many whites would have voted for him early on. But first his wife bad mouths a country that gave her opportunities to excel in one of the most prestigious of Ivy League schools, and an annual income that is 10 times higher than most wage earners; then Rev. Jeremiah Wright goes out rapping smack about whitey and the USAKKK.

Then we find that his other associations are less than savory, what with federal trials involving close Obama friends and supporters, and unrepentant terrorists in his circle of backers.

White people, not white liberal Democrats, or even unaffiliated left-leaning voters, but run of the mill white people, many of whom often don't vote, are angry with Obama.

I don't see this as racist either! I believe there are huge numbers of white Americans who are more than willing to vote for a qualified black person, man or woman, as well as a woman of any race.

But they want qualified people representing them. They want people who really are post-racial, not just posturing and then displaying age-old racial stereotyping in private.

A wide range of viewpoints comes into this site or my emails every day, and even when I disagree with the authors, I heed where they come from and what kind of demographic they represent.

Virtually all of them are angry with Obama. He does not have the support of the veterans, he does not have the support of the active military, he doesn't have the support of non-Democrat blue collar workers especially independents, and what with his latest shot at John McCain's age, you can bet the senior citizens aren't going to be on his side either. They're seeing him as just another upstart who wants to discount and discard their years of sacrifices, contributions and knowledge and shove them off to the side whenever their votes aren't needed.

Frankly, not only do I not see Obama getting elected, if he is nominated I wouldn't be surprised to see a backlash vote against him from many fronts, including those who don't usually vote, and thus usually aren't included in the myriad polls the pundits use to try to tell us how to think.

I don't believe I am the only person out here who sees this. I believe Hillary Clinton's camp is well aware of it, even though her advisers say otherwise, as is Obama's. Neither has the best interests of the Democratic party in mind, so neither will give up unless they are down, out and still getting stomped.

So it is conceivable that we can see this fight go right to the convention floor, and regardless of the delegate count at the moment, it all can change in the super delegate numbers. That change could occur if the Democratic convention goes beyond the first ballot.
Thursday, May 08, 2008

Turn Off (NUMBERS) and Tune Out (George Carlin)

Reprinted from The Talon

In 1984 I attended a George Carlin comedy show and he was so funny for so long that by the time intermission rolled around my sides ached and I was afraid I would break a rib from laughing so hard.

Back then, Carlin was funny.

Seven years later I saw another of his routines in a much smaller venue. The only good thing I can say about that show was that the warm-up act was really, really good, and far outshone the main event.

What happened in between? First, Carlin dumped the long list of scatological and sexual references that had grown out of the original Seven Words You Can't Say on Television for more sophisticated, philosophical, pseudo-intellectual humor.

I realize that his previous humor had been juvenile and low brow, but it was still funny. Occasional cuts at the government or society were included and he often hit on something or another that we Americans do that seemed strange or funny if we took the time to think about it.

Then somewhere along the way Carlin started taking himself seriously. He seemed to think he had become a philosopher, wise and worth heeding. He poked fun at everything American, and everyone who was part of the mainstream. We were all foolish, myopic, brain-dead losers devoid of original thought. He was the only clear thinker among us.

Which was why his show suffered, his audience dwindled and he was playing much smaller venues.

Then, one night last week, when I was working late in my office, I turned on the television only to see Carlin doing an HBO special. He looked very old, ill in fact, stooped, and raspy. He was predictably ridiculing everything and everyone that was not him. He took shots at the president, he took shots at the Republican Party - unlike Lewis Black who hammers politicians of all stripes with equal vigor, Carlin just picks on Republicans - and he lambasted corporate America which according to him is responsible for all the world's ills.

Then, in a mere soundbite that left me both shocked and angry, Carlin ridiculed America's war dead whose remains rest in cemeteries around the world! His implication was that they had been suckered into fighting for our country, and died like so many mindless lemmings, for trumped up causes that they didn't have the sense to avoid.

Considering that most of the cemeteries for America's soldiers on foreign lands are for WWII veterans, this statement was all the more shocking. I have never heard anyone ridicule those who served in WWII as though they had a choice about where and when they would stand up to Nazis, fascists and the Japanese.

I have always believed we also did right in standing up to communists in Korea and Vietnam. They were no better than the Nazis and fascists. For some reason, the wars in Korea and Vietnam became issues of debate, while for most of the world's citizens who lived during WWII, there was little question about the where and when of fighting.

It was even more shocking that this criticism of our war dead came from a guy who has grown rich availing himself of the very freedoms that so many Americans died to preserve. Fighting against forces who, if they had prevailed, most definitely would NOT have allowed Carlin to say the things about them that he says about us.

I turned off the Carlin show because I was so outraged at him and HBO. The next non-news show I watched was on Friday night when the show NUMBERS came on at 10 p.m. That show started out as a crime drama in which two brothers, one an FBI agent, the other a brilliant college math professor, work together to solve major crimes.

Nice concept - for a while. Then, like most TV shows, the character development stretched into who was sleeping with whom, some scenes approached soft-porn, and a decided anti-military twist emerged.

The proof of this was a segment last year in which a Marine veteran of the Iraq War comes home and shoots two murderers. He takes off for Mexico, and stays there until last Friday's show when members of his unit try to track him down so he wouldn't spill the beans about all the mayhem, torture and slaughter they had engaged in against innocent civilians in Iraq.

Mortars leveling homes filled with innocent women and children, Marines shooting civilians for no reason and torturing the unfortunate until they begged for death. Oh Yeah, that's our guys all over.

I couldn't help but think back a month when Eagles Up and other pro-troop organizations stood vigil in Silver Springs Maryland as the Iraq Veterans Against the War attempted to re-create John Kerry's infamous Winter Soldier investigation from back in the 70s. That was when he and others of his ilk lied about the conduct of American soldiers in Vietnam, branding us as baby killers, murderers and worse.
Investigations later revealed that nearly all of Kerry's "witnesses" were liars, who didn't serve where and when they said they did, or at all, but that was never widely publicized.

In Maryland we demanded that the IVAW "witnesses" identify themselves by name, rank, unit, time and place in Iraq, other witnesses who saw what they said they saw, and further demanded that they agree to testify under oath to the alleged atrocities they allegedly witnessed. None would. Their event was a bust.

A bust just like the ill-conceived cases against the Haditha Marines and other members of the armed forces who have been falsely accused of war crimes in Iraq. Cases that are falling likes houses of cards. Never fear though. The left owns Hollywood and if they can't damage the American military one way, they'll do it another.

I turned off NUMBERS just as I had turned off Carlin, and I can guarantee that my family won't be watching it any more either. There are other things to do on Friday nights. We can rent a movie, or maybe even turn in early. I have several seasons worth of Magnum P.I. shows that are always worth watching that are far better entertainment than the slop CBS is offering up.

I recommend that course of action for anyone who cares about our military and our veterans. When I say No More Vietnam's, I mean no more sabotage and treachery, in the media, in the government, in politics and in the entertainment industry.

As for Carlin, he just reminds me of an irrelevant curmudgeon. And eventually he go the way we all will go and take his ill temper with him. But since Andy Rooney already has a lock on the curmudgeon identity, it looks like the only thing that will be left for Carlin's tombstone is "Irrelevant."
Tuesday, May 06, 2008

American Values in Morton, Ill.; Jesus Christ Appearing at the Bushnell in Hartford.

Are you are feeling a bit anxious about America's core values? Is Congress upsetting you, the news media infuriating you? Does it seem as though the end of rational thought as we know it is imminent?

Then I suggest you put down what you are doing and travel to Morton, Illinois for a refresher course in common sense and community values.

I was there this past weekend, just about as close as you can get to the Heartland of America, to participate in ceremonies and events associated with a visit from the Moving Wall, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

I was a guest of Larry Stimeling and American Legion Post 318, and to put it as succinctly as possible, these people know how to put on an event. Larry was the point man for a four-day series of panel discussions, commentary from Vietnam Veterans, entertainment, and the opportunity for Americans from throughout the area to visit the scaled-down duplicate of the memorial in Washington.

Larry and his associates left nothing to chance, and from the moment that Jerry Agles picked me up at the Peoria Airport to take me to the Ashland Best Western in Morton I knew I was in the presence of a class event. I highly recommend staying at the Ashland Best Western if you are in the area - and check out O'Flaherty's in the hotel if you are hungry or like a wide selection of Irish beers.

Larry and Jerry, with a lot of assistance from Morton American Legion Post 318 and Lodge #352 of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, put in a yeoman's effort, and the final result was well worth it.

I have spoken at many events over the years and usually there is a core group of workers who do most of the heavy lifting to arrange things, with more helpers showing up as the event unfolds. That is not an insult to anyone, it is just a reflection of human nature.

Once the event is underway it takes a lot of hands to make sure it goes smoothly, handing chores such as transportation, meals, information assistance, helping put up and take down the wall, and filling in wherever needed.

But as I was putting final touches on the speech I was to deliver at the closing ceremonies on Sunday I looked at the back of the event program where the groups, businesses and individuals who had contributed were posted. I was amazed. The list was HUGE!

It seemed as though the entire community was in on the planning or execution in some way or another. Restaurants donated food, individuals and groups donated money, politicians from all parties were in abundance and wholly supportive - and I didn't see any of the political posturing that cynics expect at these events either. It was clear to me that Morton, Illinois represents an America that many of us yearn for, but that the mainstream media seems to be going out of its way to claim no longer exits.

Based on what I saw in Morton this past week, the media is wrong - again. How surprised are we at that?

To sum it up, I was privileged and honored to be part of a moving and important event in the nation's heartland. I hadn't been to that part of the country previously, not counting Chicago. But I made some friends there and you can bet I will be back to see them in the future.

Jesus Christ in Hartford

Do you believe in omens?

Well then, tell me what this would mean to you.

I board a plane in Peoria, Ill., to take a quick hop up to Chicago's O'Hare Airport where I will connect to another plane that will take me to Connecticut.

Just before the door of the plane closes (the one in Peoria) a passenger enters - a minister judging from his collar and the cross displayed on a chain hanging around his neck.

His assigned seat is next to mine. We exchanged pleasantries and then he went to work on his papers, maybe his next sermon, and I went to work on my crossword puzzle which is what I do when I fly.

The trip to Chicago is uneventful, we deplane, both end up on the shuttle from Concourse B to Concourse C, and all the way to my gate he keeps popping up. I'm beginning to wonder just what is going on, and then he disappears. I was only about 20 minutes away from boarding time on my next flight and I soon forgot about the last one.

I boarded the next plane, and took my window seat about two-thirds of the way toward the back of the plane, after which I started people watching, one of my all-time favorite leisure activities. After a while I noticed a group of young people, college age to mid-20s or so, heading my way.

I wasn't sure what to make of them, especially when a young man with a very deep voice who liked to sing "Yippee Ki O, Ki A," took the seat next to me. "Maybe spring breakers on their way home from somewhere," I mused. But as more and more entered the aircraft it was obvious that more and more of them knew each other, and I speculated that maybe they were a rock-n-roll band with a large entourage.

When the plane was full and everyone seated, one of the group who was behind me asked the man next to me how many performances they would be doing at their next stop.

By then my curiosity had overcome my good manners and I couldn't stop myself from asking "What are you performing."

OK, are you ready for this? Remember what I said about the first flight in the company of the minister? Well for the second part of my flight I was smack in the middle of the entire national touring company for the hit musical Jesus Christ Superstar!

Think someone is trying to tell me something?

As it turns out, my aisle mate was Darrel Whitney, a personable guy from Erie, PA, who plays the High Priest, Caiaphas.

Mary Magdalene was right in front of me, Pontius Pilate was across the aisle, the show's musical director was right behind me, and Jesus Christ, in the person of Ted Neeley who has played the role numerous times on stage and screen over thirty years, was three rows in front of me! I felt strangely ... secure, even when the ride was bumpy.

Darrel and I talked a bit and found out: he knows a lot about military aircraft which was an area of common interest; he eventually wants to teach social studies and do voice-overs as a second career; and that I studied Shakespeare in college and reviewed Jesus Christ Superstar for a Connecticut newspaper when the touring company came to the Bushnell Auditorium in the 90s.

Darrel invited me to come see the present incarnation of the show, which follows the traditional version - imagine that, Jesus Christ Superstar, now in its fourth decade, and was considered avant garde theater when it was first produced, actually has a "traditional" version.

This may seem like a lot to absorb, and I guess it is. Some people will see my journey as an omen, or at least a message, others will say it is sheer coincidence and I am making too much of it.

Nonetheless, I will be going to the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford one evening this week to watch Jesus Christ Superstar. I'll also be taking my family, since my youngest has yet to see the stage production and I think she'll enjoy it.

Make of that what you will.


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