Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There is a God

With a month to go before we vote to eliminate the state income tax, union employees at the MBTA are threatening a mass slow down if they don't receive back wages. While I sympathize with their plight, if there is a slow down in service (aka collective sick calls, following every single rule and regulation, etc) then that can only help the cause to get rid of the state income tax.

Christmas is early this year!

The article is here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The cat attacks

Kevin is certainly my son. When I was growing up, we had a cat named Samantha. She was a great cat and lived a long life until she was run over by the neighbor when I was in high school. It wasn't the neighbor's fault really - Sam had climbed underneath her car and must have been near the wheels or the engine and when the car was started, she was a goner. That was very traumatic for me - that cat was around longer than me and to see her dead in a bag with a little blood coming out of her nose was brutal. I was a wreck for days (as were all of us). I gave the neighbor the cold shoulder for years but looking back, I feel bad about that now.

Anyway, I used to drive Sam crazy when I was a baby. She was always gentle to me, I guess, even after I pulled her down from the window ledge by her tail. Her only warning was a paw across the face sans claws.

Kevin treats our cat Papa the same way and like Sam, he has been very gentle to him (luckily he does not have claws in his front paws). He simply moves away from him or goes and hides when Kevin goes near him. But last night, when I wasn't looking, I heard a mean sounding meow and then Kevin started wailing. I didn't see what happened - either Papa scared him with his meow or he took a snap at him. To be honest, Kevin needed it. He pulls his tail, hits him, etc. As I was holding Kevin, Papa's eyes were half closed and he just laid there with a mobster like look that said, "You didn't see nothing."

But, two seconds later Kevin was back pulling his tail. Alas.....

Only conservative ministers break the law

If you read the following article from the Washington Post (via the Boston Globe), you would think that it is only conservative ministers who insert their political views into their sermons. However, every Sunday and Monday there are news stories of Democrats "guest preaching" at churches, especially black churches. What about Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc? They are the most political ministers in the United States yet the Washington Post dares not mention them.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Together again

Lynn and I are back from Hartford and the wedding of my friend Neil Collins and his bride Bethany Kibbe. It was a quick but awesome 24 hours.

We arrived at the hotel around 1:00 yesterday afternoon and as Lynn got ready, I met up with my friend Richie Carfargna for lunch. After that, Lynn, Richie, and I drove together to the Church for the wedding. The ceremony was held at the First Church of Christ Congregational in West Hartford. The Church is a beautiful 17th/18th century style New England Church. It was the first time that I have ever attended a Protestant service and it was very lovely (and brief!).

After the service, we headed back to the hotel and walked to the reception which thankfully was right next door. It was held at the Gershon Fox Room, a converted department store in downtown Hartford. There are still shops there but the upstairs is a function room that they used for the cocktail hour and dinner and dancing was in another room downstairs. It was a very unique and classy site. We loved it.

Neil and Bethany numbered their tables by "Age" and each one had pictures of Neil and Bethany from the corresponding age on the table. We were at Age 19 so we saw pictures of Neil and Bethany from college.

The wedding was amazing but it was also great to catch up with old friends. As I mentioned Friday, Neil, Richie, and Bill Champion are my oldest friends and I have not had a chance to see them much over the past few years since they all moved away from Massachusetts. It was also wonderful to catch up with Neil's parents, his sister Emily, and other people I knew when I lived in Melrose. I have not seen Emily since she was in elementary school so it was shocking to see her all grown up. She saw Richie and I walk up to the Church and she said she recognized us right away.

After the reception, we headed to the After Party in Neil's parents room. The room number was 808 so it was nicknamed "Club 808." Lynn and I hung out until midnight or so and then headed down to our room where we quickly passed out (pun intended).

Neil and Bethany were hosting a brunch this morning but we had to go to mass so we could not make it. We ended up catching a mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Hartford. It is a funky church (it was built in 1962 so you know why) and they had a beautiful choir. The mass was packed actually, which is unusual for downtown cathedrals.

Now we are home and back to reality (i.e. Kevin). He had a great time with his cousins yesterday and my parents last night and today. It was nice to get away for a night, anyone want to babysit in the future :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Debate #1

I stopped watching after about 45 minutes. It is on in the background and I am listening but not that closely. Obama is strong on specifics and McCain is very effective with his foreign policy knowledge. Dying to know what the pundits think.

Light blogging weekend

Tomorrow night Lynn and I have our first night away from Kevin. We have individually been away for a night (Lynn once, me for two consecutive nights) but this will be the first time we're both gone. We're heading to a wedding in Hartford, CT tomorrow and will be back on Sunday. My mother has graciously agreed to crash at our place on Saturday night since Kevin does not do well on sleepovers. If he slept at my parent's house, he would be up screaming at 2am. This won't be too bad for my nocturnal mother but it would not be fun to have a 15 month old going nuts in the middle of the night!

The wedding is for a old friend of mine from elementary and high school, Neil Collins. He is marrying his long-time girlfriend Bethany. I met Neil when he moved to my hometown of Melrose in 1988 and we ended up going to the same high school. We would drive to school or take the T together everyday for the next four years. We kind of lost touch with each other since then (he went to UMass Amherst and then moved to Connecticut) but we get to catch up every now and then.

My two oldest friends will also be there - Bill Champion and Richie Carfagna. I have known Bill and Rich since kindergarten, almost 30 years now! I cannot wait to catch up with these guys. Billy had lived in North Carolina for five years (he just moved back this month) so I have not seen him for a while and Richie has lived all over the world since college - Hawaii, Florida, and Puerto Rico to name a few. Ironically, I have seen him the most despite his travels and long distance. He comes home a couple of times a year to see his family and we usually get together then.

It will be a quick trip but I hope to make the most of it. Stay dry to all of you in rain soaked New England.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Politics of personal destruction

The media is fond of jumping over how mean the Republican party is as well as their tenancy to "attack" their political opponents. Well, read the following short story from Politico about Rep. Barney Frank and notice how all he does is criticize, attack, and belittle the opposition party. The man is a fool.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that "nobody mentioned McCain" during the several-hour-long meeting on the $700 billion market rescue plan, other than Frank and that his Republican colleagues "winced" when he did.

"He’s been irrelevant to the process. He remains to be," said Frank. "I was afraid that his dropping in here, like Andy Kaufman’s Mighty Mouse—'here I am to save the day'—I thought that would slow things down. I didn’t see any sign of our Republican colleagues paying any attention to him whatsoever."

Franks went on. "Nobody mentioned him. The man’s irrelevant to the whole process. No Republican mentioned his name. I’m the only one who raised his name. They winced when I did," he said.

"I don’t think anyone takes that seriously," said Frank of McCain's suggestion that Friday's debate be delayed. "Sen. McCain trying to use the necessity for his presence to reach a deal that we’ve already reached as a reason to duck the debate is unworthy of him. There is absolutely no reason not to go to the debate."Frank was equally cool about today's meeting with the White House. "The White House isn’t show and tell. We’re going to the White House because the president asked us to go. Nobody thinks at this point that anything useful’s going to happen. But we now have to get things drafted and worked on. The White House meeting is just an interruption in our schedule," he said.

Though he said McCain's presence would be unhelpful, he did say, getting a dig in at McCain's running mate, that there "were times when I was ready to suggest that, when we got to some of the more complicated issues about how do you price these sophisticated instruments, that we ask him to make Sarah Palin available to give us her expertise."
I wonder if people felt Frank was "irrelevant" and an "interruption" when he was caught paying for sex and having a prostitution ring run out of his home by his lover?

Who is playing the race card again?

Many Democrats have been saying that John McCain is subtly playing the race card and injecting racial politics into the campaign. While this has never, ever been proven or established as nothing more than political pandering, the following is as clear as day:

"If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention," said (Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee) Hastings. "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through."

McCain on the right track?

A friend of mine sent me a text message last night and asked if John McCain was a fool or a genius for suspending his campaign to focus on the economic crisis. I said I was not sure but it did seem like a desperation move.

But, Campbell Brown, one of the most partisan and biased people on CNN, called it a "stroke of genius" and Bob Scheifer on CBS News said McCain was asked on behalf of the Secretary of Treasury to get involved to persuade Republicans to get on board.

So, perhaps this will look good for McCain and make Barack Obama look like a second string quarterback. Who knows.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How not to make your point

The almost defunct "Catholic" group Voice of the Faithful has called on the United States Bishops to review the requirement for Roman Catholic priests to be celibate. Fine, celibacy is not doctrine and can be changed by the pope tomorrow.

However, what bothers me about VOTF's letter to Cardinal Sean O'Malley (by they way, the letter is addressed the old chancery office in Boston, guess they missed the memo about the move to Braintree) is their false assertion that the bishops are not doing anything about priestly moral and low numbers. They also say that celibacy creates a culture that is "unhealthy and dysfunctional." Their approach is very passive aggressive and is guaranteed to turn the bishops off and makes their proposal DOA. It says in part:

More is being written and openly discussed about priests’ health and well being, with
increased reports of stress, depression, heart attacks, and even suicide. We express our growing concern about how difficult it can be to work and live in a clerical culture that
on some deep and profound levels seems to be unhealthy and dysfunctional.
We also believe the discipline of mandatory celibacy fosters a culture of clericalism
which enables church leadership to put the needs of the institution ahead of the needs of the faithful
, including victims of clerical sexual abuse. This clerical culture can also
put the needs of the institution ahead of the need for due process and justice for priests
accused of such abuse.We believe many of you share these concerns, but for reasons we cannot fathom have not found a way to address them in a meaningful and pastoral way.

Good news for Ina Garten fans

It seems like it was years ago that Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa) had a new show on Food Network. Now, she is not only coming back with new shows but a new series called Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics. I just hope she keeps her theme song, my son stops dead in his tracks when it comes out and just smiles and stares at the TV. If you don't know the show or the song, click here.

Also, click here for the story on her new show.

Playoffs again

So the Red Sox are in the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six years. Ho hum. This is getting silly...all those years of pain and suffering and now they won't go down. I told my students once that they are spoiled - when I was in high school the Celtics were terrible (well, they were always terrible until this past year), the Red Sox always choked, and the Patriots were the laughing stock of the NFL. The Bruins? Well, sorry but who cares.

I didn't watch the Red Sox game last night but I happened to turn to NESN around 10:10pm and the players were celebrating on the field. Now, I enjoy a tasty adult beverage like everyone else but there is something tacky about the Red Sox players running around on the field with Bud Lights in their hands and carrying around a 30-pack like college students. Yes, they're grown men and they are allowed to drink but, it just seems so lowbrow.

More on question one

This past Monday, the governor, state treasurer, and other state officials warned Massachusetts residents of a potential economic crisis if revenue (i.e. taxes) slip in September. Gee, do you think this dire warning had anything to do with the question on this November's ballot to eliminate the state income tax???

Well, never fear, there must be enough money in the state coffers because Howie Carr points out that a Massachusetts state trooper called in sick a number of days last year in order to go fishing. Not a big deal, people do it all the time, right? But, while you and I struggle, we were paying for this guy to have a nice day off and we also had to pay overtime for his replacement.

Granted, it is a drop in the bucket but it is just another example of the state crying poor mouth and then one of its own is caught stealing money from copy machines, filing disability claims while participating in bodybuilding competitions, stealing money from MBTA fare boxes, being no-shows at the MBTA, stealing money from tolls on the Mass. Pike, hiring family members, etc, etc, etc, etc.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Where is Hawaii?

On today's CBS' morning show, anchor Julie Chen questions whether or not Sarah Palin has enough foreign policy experience. However, Chen and co-anchor Harry Smith stumbled over where Hawaii and the Sandwich Islands are located. See the story here and click on the video for the geographic gaffe.

People in glass houses...

Don't support Obama? You are a racist

One of the most maddening tactics being used by Barack Obama's surrogates during this campaign is accusing people of being racist when they criticize Obama. It is a way to intimidate people into keeping their mouth shut lest they be branded as David Duke.

Now, failed presidential candidate and governor Michael Dukakis is at it. He says that because the McCain campaign is tying Obama to Franklin Raines, the former CEO of Fannie Mae, McCain is using tactics akin to the Willie Horton ad.

OK, so Raines was not an advisor to Obama but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did give $112,000 in donations to Obama. Just because Raines and Obama are both black does not mean it is racist - McCain is trying to show that Obama has connections to the now discredited companies.

Gov. Dukakis- how can we forget you if you won't go away?

What if the shoe was on the other foot?

Can you imagine what the reaction would be if a college chaplain from a public university offered extra credit to students who campaign for John McCain? There would be all sorts of outrage on CNN and Keith Olbermann would tag that person the "Worst Person in the World."

But, alas, it is a liberal chaplain who offered the extra credit for those who campaign for Barack Obama so it is just a funny little thing that will be banished to the "Wacky Story" of the day segment.

Story is here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's the last dance...

Tonight will be the final game ever held at Yankees Stadium. The Yankess are not officially eliminated from the playoffs but I believe they have to win the rest of their games and the Red Sox have to lose every single one - both implausible.

I am sorry to see Yankees Stadium go but history marches on. I have been there 7 times: 6 times for Red Sox-Yankees games and a mass with Pope Benedict this past April. The Red Sox lost all but one of the games I went to which made for some very uncomfortable moments. The worst was when Dererk Lowe (then the closer) blew a game in the bottom of the 9th when he gave up two homeruns. That was brutal. Whenever the Red Sox (or other teams) began to get shaky at Yankees Stadium, you could literally feel the momentum change. The roar of the crowd at Yankees Stadium is very distinctive (and scary).

I know how New York is feeling tonight. I remember when the Boston Garden closed in 1995 with an exhibition game between the Bruins and Canadiens. That was a sad day, especially since the Bruins and Celtics were horrible.

Enjoy the final game and cherish the priceless memories - Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Maris' 61st homerun, President Bush throwing out the first pitch of the 2001 World Series weeks after 9/11, Aaron Boone's homerun, and of course, game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.

NBC in the tank

More evidence has surfaced that NBC is in the tank for Barack Obama. It appears that a SNL skit bashing John McCain was the brainchild of Al Franken. Franken is an uber-liberal candidate for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota. Franken, of course, used to work on SNL and his last job was as a radio talk show host on the failed Air America.

The fact that an ultra liberal candidate for national office is helping write skits for NBC does not bode well for a network already under fire for its political bias. Earlier this month, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews were removed from anchoring major newscasts because they were so over the top in their support for Obama.

See the story here.

Making an issue of race

There are many racist people out there who will not vote for Barack Obama because he is black. We call those people bigots. I think we can all agree that for people not to vote for Obama simply because of the color of his skin is deplorable and, quite frankly, sad. Ones skin color should not determine who should be our next president. The media is doing a nice job pointing this out.

There is one logic problem, however. If we all agree that skin color should not be a factor and if people who vote only based on race are bigots, then how come the media is not making a case of the roughly 90%-10% lead Obama has over John McCain with black voters?

Don't be fooled

It has been a busy few days around these parts. I had to work Friday night as well as yesterday (field trip) and I am off again today for a picnic at our Church and then a visit to a farm for hayrides and a corn maze. I love fall.

Quick mention, however, of Friday's column by my man Howie Carr. The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority announced last week that it will lay off 100 toll takers. These toll takers make around $70,000 and have benefits you and I can only dream of. The Pike is near bankruptcy so they need to make cuts. Of course, it does not hurt to make these cuts a month or so before voters go to the polls to vote on repealing the state income tax.

Howie reminds us that this is just a trick designed to make us think the state is actually doing something about wasteful spending. Do not be fooled. See the whole column here but here is a preview:

Odd, isn’t it, how state government suddenly comes up with these reforms now that there’s a referendum question on the Nov. 4 ballot to abolish the state income tax. And that the proposals are all aimed at wildly unpopular public-sector abuses. The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to call these phony pre-election crackdowns “boob bait for the bubbas.”

Remember, these trial balloons are being floated by the same guy who just two years ago was promising you “property tax relief” if you elected him governor. How’s that one working out for you?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

A few days ago, Deval was holding a public hearing on police details. Granted, the use of civilian flagmen would be restricted to state roads, which are only 10 percent of the total, and just on the ones with lower speed limits. And then of course the flagmen will have to be paid “prevailing wage” to minimize any real savings.

But rest assured that you will see at least one civilian flagman, on at least one state road, before Nov. 4. They need a photo op for the media, to show how “serious” they are about doing something.

The cops, of course, are in on this police-detail gag. Deval pretends to crack down on them, and the cops pretend to believe him. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. In a few weeks, the hack unions will start running TV spots saying Vote No on Question 1.

There’s no need to abolish the state income tax, the TV spots will say. Your state government has heard you. Look at what we’re trying to do with the toll takers (B roll of Allston and 128 toll plazas) and police details (fat cops yelling in Gardner Auditorium).

Taxpayers, your state government gets it. Vote No on Question 1. It goes too far. And what about the children? This ad authorized by Local 782, the International Pinky Ring Brotherhood of Payroll Patriots for Phony Disability Pensions at Age 45 PAC.

Stand by for more insincere cosmetic gestures. At the State House these days, it’s all about Question 1, and how to stop it. Next they’ll be unveiling some phony reform proposal on state pensions.

The reality is, there’s only one way to really do something about any of the above abuses, and that’s by voting Yes on Question 1.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I thought Obama was different??

If people want to say that Sen. John McCain can no longer play the "experience card" because of Sarah Palin, than Sen. Barack Obama can no longer say he is a different type of politician.

Case in point:

Barack Obama sharpened his attacks on John McCain and mocked the Republican's recent calls for reform in two stops in Nevada on Wednesday after days of listening to nervous supporters fret about the Democrat's chances of taking the White House.

"Sen. McCain bragged about how as chairman of the Commerce Committee in the Senate, he had oversight of every part of the economy. Well, all I can say to Sen. McCain is, 'Nice job. Nice job,'" Obama said at a rally at a baseball stadium in Las Vegas. "Where is he getting these lines? The lobbyists running his campaign?"
Obama later added: "I'm not making this up, you can't make this up. It's like a 'Saturday Night Live' routine."
The feistier, more sarcastic tone came as worried Democrats urged Obama to get tougher and show more passion. Obama has tried to assure donors and voters that he's been schooled by Chicago politics.
And later: "I want you to argue with them and get in their face."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blogs do matter

My wife always makes fun of me for having a blog. However, we do make some impact, some more than others. My blog is a blip but people do read it. Today, for example, I have gotten hits from someone at the U.S. House of Representatives as well as from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They obviously did a search to see what people were thinking about election day and came across my thoughts on Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Colleen Garry and Sen. John Kerry.

Don't forget to vote today in Massachusetts

Today is Primary Day in Massachusetts. While there is not a lot to bring people out, please head out to the polls anyway.

If you are a Democrat or unenrolled (i.e. independent) and you want to send a message to Sen. John Kerry, pull a Democratic ballot and vote for Ed O'Reilly. O'Reilly is a liberal and will likely be trounced in today's primary. But, it would be nice if he got enough votes to let Kerry know that people are not thrilled with him as our senator.

I am unenrolled and I will be pulling a Democrat ballot for this very reason. In addition, I am also going to blank most of the other races, especially for my U.S. Representative, Niki Tsongas. I have been involved in enough campaigns to know that politicians get worried when people actually fill in "none" rather than the candidate himself. This is my own little form of political action. The one Democrat I will vote for is my State Rep. Colleen Garry. She is one of the last conservative Democrats in the Legislature and I am a big fan of hers.

There is an interesting primary in Boston between State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and Sonia Chang-Díaz. Both are mega-liberals but Wilkerson is a complete hack and a bum. She has "forgotten" to pay her mortgage, she was under house arrest for not paying her taxes, and she has paid fines for campaign finance violations. For some reason, she keeps on getting re-elected and the political establishment is backing her. Chang-Díaz has the backing of many liberal groups that are crucial in her district (especially gay rights groups) but I think Wilkerson will win if her core constituency comes out (i.e. black voters).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Crazy left

I used to like Chevy Chase. His movies were humorous and I love "Funny Farm." But lately he has come across as a complete wingnut. Case in point: he said today on MSNBC that we wants to see Sarah Palin "decimated."

Remember this next time people say Republicans are mean, nasty, and the party of personal destruction.

See the whole story here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Palin Effect (and not a good one)

For the past few weeks, all of us have been focused on Sarah Palin. Your truly has devoted most of his blog posts to her since she was announced in late August. But, as Howie Carr points out today, we are taking our eye off the local ball. Since Palin was announced, state workers were caught stealing $500,000 worth of steel from the Longfellow Bridge repair project and some MBTA workers were caught showing up to work after lunch but still getting paid for a full day.

Yikes...do not forget about question 1 on this November's ballot. Send these hacks a message, get rid of the state income tax.

Next time your town cries poor mouth...

Remember this the next time your city or town cries that it is out of money for needs to raise property taxes.

This summer, Gov. Deval Patrick came out with new rules about paid police details. For our friends from out of state, Massachusetts is the only state in the nation that has police working details on road construction projects rather than flagmen. Patrick's new rules were rather weak but it was a start. However, local police unions are now using an exception in the rules to keep the plum jobs. The new rules, which go into effect October 3, will not apply to cities and towns if there is language placed in union contracts allowing the details (The Globe has the story here).

Now, super poor cities like Chelsea and Revere are allowing the details in exchange for concessions like random drug testing (like that will be on the up and up). Hopkinton, a relatively wealthy town, is asking the governor to delay the rules until next summer.

Pathetic. Remember all this when you go to vote to eliminate the state income tax in November.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Boston Globe ACTUALLY makes sense

STOP THE PRESSES!!!!!!! I have found a Boston Globe liberal who has written a thoughtful, candid, and insightful column on why Democrats are losing the hearts and minds of the common person.

In a column titled "The discreet charm of Republican women", Alex Beam discusses why Republican women are so successful: they are real people. He begins by expressing his admiration for Laura Bush and goes on to discuss a fellow journalist who is no fan of Sarah Palin. The whole column is here but the best parts follow:

"I have to say I find Sarah Palin neither discreet nor charming," Sittenfeld answered me in an e-mail. "Her life is definitely worthy of a novel, but that doesn't make her qualified to be vice president. Watching her convention speech, I kept thinking she has the confidence of the non-introspective person. And it does seem like if people voted for Bush because he was someone they'd like to have a beer with, they're considering voting for her because she's someone with whom they'd like to go hunting/attend a hockey game/serve on the PTA. But haven't we learned anything since 2000?!"

As they say on the Supreme Court, I partially concur. Palin does have the confidence of the non-introspective person. Of course, the Hamlets of American politics, such as Adlai Stevenson and Mario Cuomo, never get to be king. Successful, female, Democratic politicians are like affirmative-action babies; they always feel that the story of their rise must validate the core myths of feminism that they hold so dear. Hillary Clinton, superbly qualified to be president, came off as a harridan. Nancy Pelosi, astonishingly, is one of the most unpopular politicians in the country.
It's easier to be a prominent Republican woman, because you can unabashedly tap into the older, comforting myths. Beauty queen; SuperMom; Diana the huntress; PTO nutcracker; whoever picked Palin must have been a genius. So she's not exactly sure what the Bush Doctrine is - who cares? The whole point of electing a new president is to get rid of the Bush Doctrine once and for all. Newspaper editorialists who cackle at her creationist leanings might want to look at some poll numbers. God still trumps Darwin, last time I checked.
Is there a line connecting Laura Bush to Sarah Palin? I think so. It is the line of unglamorous people who didn't go to the right schools and who never had famous friends. If only Matt Damon would promise to trash Sarah Palin every day between now and Nov. 4, the election would be McCain's to lose.

Yet another reason my children will never attend public school

Dracut's neighbor to the south, the city of Lowell, is considering offering Planned Parenthood the opportunity to come to Lowell High School to teach "comprehensive sex education." Currently the school offers a program that encourages abstinence. Yes, teens are having sex and yes, teens are getting pregnant (one of them is the daughter of my new hero). However, I fail to see how we are going to lower teen pregnancy by making sex seem easier and more accessible.

Plus, the fact that Lowell is considering Planned Parenthood is reprehensible. Their bread and butter is abortions and they have done more harm to girls in this country than we can possibly imagine.

Thank goodness we don't live in Lowell and thank goodness we have Catholic schools.

The Catholic Vote

From the people who brought you the incredible vocations video "Fishers of Men" is a new video on the importance of voting for Catholics. It is only a few minutes but very poweful. Take a look:

Heading west

Lynn, Kevin, and I headed to Western Massachusetts today to visit the Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield. It wasn't anything special really, just a large store. We did end up breaking a candle but before you think it was Kevin, think again! Kevin and I were walking ahead and all of a sudden I heard a big crash. I turned around and saw Lynn standing there looking guilty. Ha. Luckily they didn't make us buy it.

After that we grabbed some lunch at a Subway (it was the only thing we could find) and then visited a farm stand and a candy store. That was about all there was to do so we headed home. We decided to take Route 2 back rather than the Mass. Pike and it was a nice ride, very scenic.

Now, Kevin is asleep, Lynn is out shopping and I am settling in to some college football and a ice cold you know what. Well, before you call DSS, I will wait until Lynn gets home until I indulge in a beverage, I never have one when I am alone with the boy.

Another good Saturday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hollywood against Palin? Oh no!

Noooooo...you mean to tell me that Matt Damon and Pam Anderson disapprove of Sarah Palin?!? What are we to do now?? I always listen to washed-up reality stars and elite actors who live in a fantasy world, what ever will we do on Election Day?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


This is absurd:

South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”

Only a Democrat would even think of abortion when mentioning someone who has a lot of children and one with special needs. This tells you the mindset they have - they say those who are pro-life are single issue voters but the Dems always have abortion on the mind.

Where I was

Like most of you, I vividly remember September 11, 2001. I was at the seminary at Notre Dame in Indiana that year and at that time, Indiana did not participate in daylight savings times. I had a class at 8:00am EST and the first plane had hit the World Trade Center at 8:45 EDT. So we went to class completely unaware of what was going on. The class went until 9:15 or so and by then, both towers had been hit and they were on their way down.

After class, still unaware of what happened, we were walking back to the seminary when we ran into one of our classmates who told us. I said to my friend, "I bet it was that guy Osama bin Laden." We ran back to the seminary where a bunch of people were gathered around the TV. I was terrified. I was in New York City a few months earlier and I shuttered at the potential loss of life both in the buildings and outside. The head of maintenance at the seminary said to me, you know what today is...911. I don't know if they planned to attack on the same day as our emergency call number but when he said it, I was sick by the irony and sheer evil.

It was then that I remembered two things: my aunt and uncle were flying to Los Angeles that week out of Boston and my sister was moving to New York City. I was not sure if either had taken place yet so I ran to my room and called my mother. Thankfully, my aunt and uncle flew out the day before and my sister had not yet moved.

I also printed out copies of cnn.com and boston.com for historical purposes. Interesting fact: boston.com at the time said that Camp David had also been hit.

We can never forget the sheer terror of that day. I still get choked up thinking of the people standing outside the rubble holding signs of their family members who were missing and begging people to call with any information. Also, the images of people falling (or jumping) from the buildings blows my mind.

May we never forget.

In memory

Politics aside, this was one of the most touching moments after September 11, 2001

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Like shooting fish in a barrell

Pointing out media bias with Sarah Palin is so easy. Never before have I seen such an organized effort to demean or bring down a candidate for political office. Palin has been the target of so much smear and snide remarks that would never happen if she were a Democrat.

Now the Boston Globe is having a Palin palindrome contest. In the article announcing the contest, they say that the winner will get a book that some people would like banned from a library (a reference to the now discredited assertion that Palin wanted to ban books from libraries in Alaska).

These are reasons I never buy a Boston Globe. When will you cancel your subscription?

See the garbage here.

Obama and the military

This weekend, Sen. Barack Obama stated that like all men over 18, he had to sign up for the Selective Service in 1979. Fine...it is just that the Selective Service did not exist in 1979, it had been suspended by President Ford a few years earlier.

Will the media report on this "gaffe" like they do on every other misstep John McCain or Sarah Palin make, no matter how small or insignificant? I think you know the answer to that question.

See the story here.

CNN lies again

CNN will stop at nothing to discredit Gov. Sarah Palin, including not fact checking before reporting "news" about her. It seems that a picture of Palin in an American flag bikini holding a gun surfaced on the Internet.

CNN reported on it with their Entertainment reporter saying: "I mean, McCain has been really good about painting Obama as this lightweight, using the word 'celebrity' as a pejorative. They don't want to have a boomerang effect. They don't want that to come back on Sarah Palin, and people say, yes, she looks good in a bikini clutching an AK-47, but is she equipped to run the country?"

However, astute bloggers quickly showed that it was just a photo shop.

I usually watch CNN on election night and for other major events but I am moving to Fox more and more.

See the story and the two pictures here (h/t to Newsbusters).

The media gets it

The media (well, ABC News at least) finally admits the reason why Sarah Palin was such a great pick:

At John McCain's rally in the town of Lee's Summit, Mo., there were more people standing outside than were able to fit inside.

That kind of crowd just hadn't been seen at McCain's events before last week's Republican convention.
Saturday in Colorado Springs, about 10,000 people waved American flags at McCain's rally in an airport hangar there, and Friday in the town of Cedarburg, Wis., there were more people crowding the main street and the surrounding blocks than the population of the tiny town.
These numbers seemed unfathomable to the campaign just last month.
So what happened?
Two words: Sarah Palin.

Brady's Bad Luck

The Inside Track in the Boston Herald is full of gossip and sleazy stories. But, they have a good one today on the jinx that is Gisele Bundchen (aka Mrs. Tom Brady). Ever since he started dating her, he has become a "beautiful person" traveling the world and seemingly more concerned about fashion than football. Now, it seems to have come back to bite him. See here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Good day

I got an e-mail from a friend today who said he was happy today and then went on to list three reasons. Howie Carr also made a similar comment on his radio show today.

Here are some reasons to be happy today:

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rambling Joe

Sen. Joe Biden rambled on today about when life begins and made the ridiculous comment that he cannot impose his "religious belief" that life begins at conception upon others who do not share that "religious" view (h/t to Whispers in the Loggia).

Democrats like to use this inane argument. Biden talks about his Catholic background and the influence that has had on his life. Presumably, his Catholic faith has instilled in him the belief that all people are equal, that the death penalty is wrong, and that we should help those who cannot help themselves and his legislative record supports those views. How come when it comes to abortion, he all of a sudden is reluctant to "impose" his religious views on others?

No one ever said the Democrats were logical.

Hate from the media

Howie Carr takes on those members of the media, especially women, who hate Sarah Palin and who refuse to call out Barack Obama and Joe Biden for their errors or missteps like they do on Palin. Did John Edwards receive the same scrutiny for his lack of experience and small children? Nope. If Palin were a Democrat, the media would love her.

The article is here but here are some good lines:

She went to multiple colleges as an undergraduate, which shows how flighty and immature she is, unlike Barack Obama, who went to multiple colleges as an undergraduate, which shows the inquisitive nature of his intelligence, which has been such an inspiration, at least to everyone who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

She has been known to put out a flag - an American flag, of all things - on the Fourth of July.

The pregnancy and impending shotgun marriage of her teen daughter, Bristol, sets a terrible example for the youth of America, unlike the pregnancy of the teen movie character “Juno,” who sets a wonderful example for the youth of America by refusing to marry.

Sarah Palin is so stupid that on Friday she called the Penn State football team the “Nittaly Lions” - oh wait, scratch that, that was Barack Obama, who again proved his intellect by showing he has much weightier issues on his mind than college football. And who even cares about Penn State anyway, it’s not an Ivy League school.

She’s a member of the Alaska Independence Party - correction, she isn’t, it was The New York Times that printed the flat-out lie that she was, in a story that, so said the Times, “called into question how thoroughly Mr. McCain had examined her background.”

You must understand printing lies about Republican candidates is OK. It’s called “vetting.” Printing the truth about liberals - that’s called “swift-boating.” From career MSNBC jock sniffer Keith Olbermann to Barney Frank’s favorite publisher Jann Wenner, the verdict on Palin is unanimous.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It is still early, but...

I know there are still two LONG months to go before the election and things will change but is it me or has Sarah Palin done what no one else could: make Barack Obama seem like yesterday's news?

Plus, interesting news on ratings for the two Conventions - the Republicans had the highest rated convention EVER. See here.

Kerry's cop out

For the first time in his senate career, Sen. John Kerry is facing a primary challenge. Gloucester attorney Ed O'Reilly is taking him on despite the nearly impossible odds. O'Reilly won't win but since I am "unenrolled" (aka independent) I can pull either a Democrat or Republican ballot at the September 16 Primary. I am going to pull a Democratic ballot and vote for O'Reilly to send a message to Kerry. I urge other independents to do the same.

Kerry feels that he is above making his case to the people because he agreed to one debate which will be broadcast on a Sunday morning. I don't know which is worse - this or the Saturday night debate between Mitt Romney and Ted Kennedy in 1994 (guess who picked this time).

Many Massachusetts politicians feel they don't need to debate their opponents, especially Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Menino usually goes for a radio debate on WBZ and afterwards his minions jam the phone lines with calls pretending to be random supporters. But, it is obvious that they are plants and are reading from scripts.

The Globe has a story on the Kerry-O'Reily debate here.

Move over John Edwards

Prior to his revelation that he had an affair, Sen. John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth were scheduled to speak at one of my alma maters, Salem State College (M.Ed. 2008). Last week, they announced that they were cancelling their talk (gee, what a shock) but SSC has announced that George Will will speak instead.

I don't think I can go but if you're in the area, you should check it out. Will has an amazing political mind and is one of the best Conservative commentators out there.

See the link here.

Catching up...

Been a couple of days since I last posted. I did not get home from work on Friday until midnight because we had a football game and dance at school and today Lynn, Kevin, and I headed to Cape Cod for a birthday party.

The birthday boy was the son of Lynn's friend Sarah and her husband Jason. We started off at Cape Cod Children's Museum which is a huge room of toys, things to climb on, etc. Kevin had a blast. We then headed back to Sarah and Jason's house where we watched Notre Dame football, had some dinner, and visited with their family.

Before we left the house this morning we caught two modern classics on TBS. When I was feeding Kevin, the end of "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" was on which was followed by the fantastic "Groundhog Day." We watched that and then headed to the Cape. What a good day!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Anchors see no evil

As we all know, the media has been ripping Gov. Sarah Palin to shreds the past week or so. They have been so vicious and border-line sexist that there has been a backlash against them. Now, the anchors of the network evening news shows are defending themselves. They all got together this week and swear they are not biased but rather "professionals" (see the article here).

The problem is that they never go after Democrats the same way they go after Republicans. Compare the coverage of Joe Biden vs. Sarah Palin and then tonight, compare the coverage of John McCain's speech vs. the coverage Barack Obama's speech received last week. They always have something snide or negative to say about a Republican and they're always saying "conservative" as if it is a bad word. Yet they will never utter the word "liberal." Democrats are always described as "moderates."

The good news is the chickens are coming home to roost. The network news still gets good ratings but they're crashing hard. Newspapers like the NY Times and Boston Globe are hemorrhaging money and readers, and magazines like Time and Newsweek have no subscribers anymore. And I could not be happier.

Simply amazing

After last night's speech by Sarah Palin I sent a text to a friend of mine that simply said, AMAZING. I have become cynical of the political process lately and I see these speeches as nothing more than theatre. However, for one of the first times in my life I hung on every word and just wanted more.

I teared up when she mentioned her special needs son, I laughed when she went after Obama, and literally pumped my fist when she said, "We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco" a reference to Barack Obama who privately (although it was leaked) told a group of people in San Francisco that people in rural America tend to stick to their guns and religion.

The media was mostly positive about the speech and Palin is now the star of the party. This is going to be fun!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Media's Bait and Switch

Thanks to Matt Drudge, an article that would have meant nothing last year is now coming back to bite the MSM.

Last October, before she was a threat to their anointed savior, Newsweek did a fawning piece on Gov. Sarah Palin (as well as the governor of Arizona). Take a look at some of their praise of Palin and be sure to take note of the line I put in bold at the end:

In Alaska, Palin is challenging the dominant, sometimes corrupting, role of oil companies in the state's political culture. "The public has put a lot of faith in us," says Palin during a meeting with lawmakers in her downtown Anchorage office, where—as if to drive the point home—the giant letters on the side of the ConocoPhillips skyscraper fill an entire wall of windows. "They're saying, 'Here's your shot, clean it up'." For Palin, that has meant tackling the cozy relationship between the state's political elite and the energy industry that provides 85 percent of Alaska's tax revenues—and distancing herself from fellow Republicans, including the state's senior U.S. senator, Ted Stevens, whose home was recently searched by FBI agents looking for evidence in an ongoing corruption investigation. (Stevens has denied any wrongdoing.) But even as she tackles Big Oil's power, Palin has transformed her own family's connections to the industry into a political advantage. Her husband, Todd, is a longtime employee of BP, but, as Palin points out, the "First Dude" is a blue-collar "sloper," a fieldworker on the North Slope, a cherished occupation in the state. "He's not in London making the decisions whether to build a gas line."

In an interview with NEWSWEEK, Palin said it's time for Alaska to "grow up" and end its reliance on pork-barrel spending. Shortly after taking office, Palin canceled funding for the "Bridge to Nowhere," a $330 million project that Stevens helped champion in Congress. The bridge, which would have linked the town of Ketchikan to an island airport, had come to symbolize Alaska's dependence on federal handouts. Rather than relying on such largesse, says Palin, she wants to prove Alaska can pay its own way, developing its huge energy wealth in ways that are "politically and environmentally clean."
It's no coincidence that two of the nation's most popular women governors come from frontier states (Arizona and Alaska were the 48th and 49th, respectively, to join the Union) without established social orders that tend to block women from power. In Washington (the 42nd state), Gov. Christine Gregoire and both U.S. senators are women, a trifecta yet to be achieved by any other state. As women reach these top jobs, even more women enter the political pipeline. "When voters perceive things are bad, they expect a woman candidate to come in and create change," says Debbie Walsh of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. "Voters give them license not to fit the mold."

Pat on Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin has been taking a beating the past few days but no one should be surprised. The media gushed all over the selection of Sen. Joe Biden and all we heard was how he was a "lunch bucket" Democrat who never forgot his Catholic roots in Scranton, PA...oh and he takes the train home everyday.

Compare that with the media coverage of Palin. CNN went to attack right away. John Roberts questioned whether or not she could raise her baby as VP (did they ask if Biden could raise his son after the death of his wife and daughter), MSNBC asked how many houses she adds to the McCain campaign, and of course they all went after her "lack of experience." This last part makes no sense to me. If elected, she will be the Vice president. Barack Obama, a man with little to no executive experience, will be the president. I thought the fact that Obama had little Washington experience was a plus.

I guess we should not be surprised. The media is showing its true colors once again and people are simply turning the channel to Fox, cancelling subscribptions to the Boston Globe and Time, and moving to the internet. CBS, NBC, ABC as news gathering sources will be ancient history soon. Although I will say that CNN has been pretty good with its convention coverage but Campbell Brown has got to be the most annoying person on cable TV right now. She interrupts everyone and is so in the tank for the Democrats.

Pat Buchanan pens a great column today in defense of Palin and compares her experiece with that of Obama. The column is here but here are some of the best parts:

Liberals howl that Palin has no experience, no qualifications to be president of the United States. But the lady has more executive experience than McCain, Joe Biden and Obama put together.

None of them has ever started or run a business as Palin did. None of them has run a giant state like Alaska, which is larger than California and Texas put together. And though Alaska is not populous, Gov. Palin has as many constituents as Nancy Pelosi or Biden.

She has no foreign policy experience, we are told. And though Alaska's neighbors are Canada and Russia, the point is valid. But from the day she takes office, Palin will get daily briefings and sit on the National Security Council with the president and secretaries of state, treasury and defense.

She will be up to speed in her first year.

And her experience as
governor of Alaska, dealing with the oil industry and pipeline agreements with Canada, certainly compares favorably with that of Barack Obama, a community organizer who dealt in the mommy issues of food stamps and rent subsidies.

Where Obama has poodled along with the Daley Machine, Palin routed the Republican establishment, challenging and ousting a sitting
GOP governor before defeating a former Democratic governor to become the first female and youngest governor in state history.

For his boldness in choosing Palin, McCain deserves enormous credit. He has made an extraordinary gesture to conservatives and the party base, offering his old antagonists a partner's share in his presidency. And his decision is likely to be rewarded with a massive and enthusiastic turnout for the McCain-Palin ticket. Rarely has this writer encountered such an outburst of enthusiasm on the right.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cringe factor

Unlike the media, I do try to be fair. When I heard Sarah Palin's daughter was pregnant (which I heard via text message from a friend who is a gleeful "O and Joe" supporter) I cringed. It will sting but I also feel horrible for the girl. While one can say her and her future husband should have been more careful (i.e. kept their pants on), it has got to hurt to have this news splashed all over the world.

To talk pure politics, I don't think this will hurt Palin a whole lot. No one in their right mind is going to bring this up in debates or on commercials. But, it is out there and there is nothing we can do about it. But, it doesn't hurt that this was released on Labor Day and when most news outlets are covering the hurricane.

Just one more on Palin

Sorry for all the Palin postings...I am just so excited!

But, I found one more article on the gov. and this one surprised me. The only thing more biased than the American media is the British media. However, the UK's "Sunday Times" carried a great article yesterday on Palin. The article's headline calls her the conservatives' dream girl. Tis true. See it here.

Pope Pelosi

Little behind the eight ball on this one but many must have heard by now that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made a complete fool of herself last week when she said the Catholic Church has only taught abortion is wrong for the past fifty years or so.

Of course, Her Holiness was only trying to provide some cover for her views that a baby in the mother's womb is nothing more than a clump of cells. The Church's bishops came out firing in response. The archbishops of Denver and New York condemned her statement and Cardinal O'Malley made reference to it in his blog last week. I am sure there were others.

This lady is a disgrace and she proved her weakness even more last week at the DNC. She is an abysmal speaker (and Speaker) and a complete embarrassment.

When Pope Benedict visited the White House in April, she was in a veil, was holding rosaries, and bent down to kiss his ring. And they say John McCain panders!

Kathleen Parker has a nice column on all this if you need to catch up (She is the one who came up with the term Pope Pelosi).

A Labor Day in which to labor

Today is supposed to be beautiful in Massachusetts but I will be home doing work. I assigned some essays last week and I need to get them back to the students tomorrow. I also need to plan some lectures. Ugh.

Lynn and Kevin will be heading to Hampton Beach today for a last hurrah. They may spend the night because Lynn has tomorrow off but she's not sure. Kevin doesn't do well at sleepovers so she is going to think about it.