Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Senator Fart Joke Franken

It's official.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today that Democrat Al Franken won the U.S. Senate election and said he was entitled to an election certificate that would lead to him being seated in the Senate.

"Affirmed," wrote the Supreme Court, unanimously rejecting Republican Norm Coleman's claims that inconsistent practices by local elections officials and wrong decisions by a lower court had denied him victory.

I've already thrown in my two cents as to how Coleman blew this one. But the fact that this state can elect a proverbial fart joke to public office is utterly digraceful. Franken is nothing more than a rubber stamp for the Democrats since they now have a 60-40 majority in the US Senate.

Believe me, I'm praying for this country more fervently than I ever have before!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Quote of the day

What Judge Sotomayor did in Ricci was the equivalent of a pilot error resulting in a bad plane crash. And now the pilot is being offered to fly Air Force One.
-- Wendy Long (Judicial Confirmation Network), on the Supreme Court's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Transition period.

Admittedly, I was never much of a fan of actress Farrah Fawcett, who passed away Thursday at the age of 62. Truth be told, I admired her less for her glamor and beauty and more for the fact she was once married to my childhood hero!

Fawcett shot to stardom in 1976 on the TV show Charlie's Angels. Despite lasting only one season, many remember her career as the bikini clad P.I. Jill Munroe. But it was Farrah's replacement, Cheryl Ladd, who helped me erase all doubts about...uh..."which way I swung".

When I was in third grade I collected Charlie's Angels trading cards (in addition to Star Wars and baseball cards). Then one day my teacher caught me admiring my favorite card of all. It was Cheryl Ladd's character, Kris Murone, wearing nothing but vines of a tree. The caption on the card read "The lovely Kris". Yeah, I'd say!!! Anyhow, my teacher in her agitation bellowed the following: "BRAD CARLSON! Throw those cards away!!" Dejected, I sauntered to the garbage can to discard my prize possessions. I had bought at least 10 packages of Charlie's Angels cards before I finally landed the crown jewel of Cheryl Ladd donning shrubbery. Now, it would be gone. I stood at the trash receptacle as if I were a holding a deceased goldfish at the foot of a toilet. I couldn't do it. But with a red-faced teacher watching me and exclaiming "NOW!!", I knew I had only one option. The moment I dropped the cards towards the basket, I turned and walked back to my desk with my head hung in despair.

I would never again reclaim that precious card I lost back in 1978. But not so coincidentally, it was around that same time that I began to notice my female classmates weren't so icky after all.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Nothing like a little perspective

CNN fossil talk show host Larry King on where he was when he heard the news of the death of Michael Jackson:

I was at home, I was watching the Dodger game. I go to all the Dodger games. The Dodgers were playing in Chicago and they lost, too. A “double loss” day.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Right Said, Fred!

Fred Thompson was my candidate of choice to represent the GOP in the 2008 Presidential race. In my estimation, Thompson was solidly conservative in the areas most important to me (i.e. Life, taxes, Supreme Court justices and National Security).

And Thompson's approach to handling the Iran situation makes the most sense of anything I've heard yet.

(Thompson) favors helping the Iranian people overthrow the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if the chance arises.

The former Tennessee senator accused Tehran of "playing a larger part in killing our soldiers" in neighboring Iraq.

Many Iranians don't like their government, "and I think we ought to capitalize on that," Thompson told The Associated Press. "There is a chance they may mobilize themselves, and we need to assist them if that happens."

Well, with all due respect Mr. Thompson, it's easy to play "Monday Morning Quarterback". After all, Barack Obama went on the record during the campaign saying he would be open to unconditional talks with the Iranian government. So it's easy to contradict him now. But why weren't you saying this, like, two years ago?

Oh, wait. You were!!!! And the quotes cited above were from a speech in April 2007.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reality bites.

Admittedly, I hadn't ever watched an entire episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8. But I couldn't help but be intrigued by the setting: A 30-something couple with eight children (Twins born in 2001 and sextuplets born in 2004) having their lives broadcast on television. Certainly it would make for some interesting viewing, to say nothing of a lucrative business venture ($75,000 per episode for the family plus a palatial home).

On the few occasions I'd seen excerpts of the Gosselins interviewed in an episode, there was no shortage of tension between the couple. It now would seem that said interviews were just a preview of things to come.

A little TLC did not go a long way for Jon and Kate Gosselin.

The reality-TV stars, long rumored to be on the rocks after 10 years of marriage, filed divorce papers Monday afternoon in Reading, Pa.

"Parents of multiples have triple the divorce rate," Kate said during the record-setting season premiere. "I was thinking we were going to beat that. I don't know if I can say that anymore."

The news comes several days after Jon was spotted apartment hunting in New York. He and Kate have been spending the majority of their time apart over the past month, with Jon sticking closer to their suburban Pennsylvania home while Kate took the kids on vacation in North Carolina, after which each continued to play single-ish parent in front of the cameras.

When watching Jon & Kate interact I couldn't help but recall a seminar my wife and I attended 3 1/2 years ago. The Love and Respect conference introduced solid biblical techniques to enhance effective communication amongst married couples.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, the founder of these conferences, boils it down to one verse in the Bible. Ephesians 5:33 says However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Dr Eggerichs:

You may remember how the Beatles sang, 'All you need is love.' I absolutely disagree with that conclusion. Five out of ten marriages today are ending in divorce because love alone is not enough. Yes, love is vital, especially for the wife, but what we have missed is the husband's need for respect. This Love and Respect message is about how the wife can fulfill her need to be loved by giving her husband what he needs -- respect. And the husband can fulfill his need to be respected by giving his wife what she needs -- love. Does this always work? No. But if one is married to a person of good will, I would bet the farm that it would work!

The fact that Kate constantly belittled Jon during their interviews? A woeful lack of respect. So how did Jon react? One activity was allegedly cavorting with another woman. And that is a classic example of what is known as the "Crazy Cycle". Without love, she reacts without respect. Without respect, he reacts without love. And so on and so on.....

Marriage is enough work even without eight kids to raise in full view of millions of TV viewers. But it most certainly can be a labor of love to those who are committed to making things work.

My understanding is that TLC has suspended production of the reality series until later this year. My hope is that time can be used by the Gosselins to make an amenable family arrangement.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Red whine

You have to be amused by the whining of the Boston Red Sox players. Last evening, the Sox were scheduled to play the Florida Marlins despite forecasters predicting nearly a 100% chance of rain in the Boston area.

With the Marlins leading 2-1 after five innings, the umpires called for a delay of the game due to the torrential rainfall. After two hours, the game was called and Florida was given credit for the victory. The fact the game even got started rankled some Red Sox players.

“There was nothing we were told or saw on the radar that suggested that we were going to be playing in any type of good conditions,’’ Mike Lowell said. “I think a lot of guys are [expletive] pissed right now, just from my experience with the Marlins and hurricanes, there’s open communication between both teams and the players’ union and all that, you can make exceptions for anything, but I’m just saying that what we saw on the radar was 100 percent chance of rain basically from 7:30 on.

“I’m frustrated and I think a lot of guys are frustrated.’’

Of course, since his club was behind, Sox manager Terry Francona wanted to keep playing.

“I think we were hoping there was a lot of hope,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “Obviously, from where we’re sitting, we want to stay and play until whenever. We’re the home team, we’re not traveling. There’s a lot of reasons we want to play.’’

When the Minnesota Twins ventured to Fenway Park in April for a two-game series, there were also weather issues. The two teams were to play Tuesday and Wednesday, with both having an off day Thursday. Tuesday's game was rained out. So the logical solution would have been to play Wednesday-Thursday, right? Well, the Red Sox pitched a fit at the notion of giving up their precious off-day on Thursday, with the arch rival New York Yankees coming to Fenway that weekend. Instead, the Sox insisted on a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday, despite the night game being delayed by rain. Ah, but since it was all to their benefit, the Sox were more than willing to squeeze in a game despite ominous skies.

Bottom line: QUIT YOUR FREAKIN' WHINING, Lowell. I guess you now know that if you occasionally live by the rain, you die by the rain....so to speak.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Where were you when you heard the news?

I'll never forget where I was when I learned former baseball slugger Sammy Sosa was using steroids. It happened while I was watching him battle Mark McGwire for the single season home run record.


Monday, June 15, 2009

The quest for respect

I didn’t comment on the David Letterman-Sarah Palin flap last week because…well….what’s the point? Letterman has been irrelevant since about 1995 when The Tonight Show with Jay Leno surpassed Letterman’s Late Show in the ratings. In fact, Letterman has never really gotten over the fact that NBC chose Leno to succeed Johnny Carson back in 1992.

But in the week since Letterman’s despicable comments about Palin’s 14-year old daughter, as well as saying Palin herself donned a “slutty flight attendant look”, it occurred to me that this is a continuing trend. And I’m not speaking merely of the ad hominem attacks against conservative women, which is certainly nothing new. But it’s the fact that people from other areas of media (i.e. sports, movies, entertainment, etc.) are looking to graduate to the “grown up” table. That is, they salivate over the opportunity to delve into political commentary because that’s what’s hip these days. Sure, Letterman gets paid handsomely to do what he does without injecting politics into his act. But even a dimwit like himself realizes that “Stupid Pet Tricks” and dropping aquariums full of jello from tall buildings garners little more respect than a fart joke.

Take for example movie critic Roger Ebert, a professed liberal. Ebert was ecstatic to be able to review Fahrenheit 9/11 because of its attempts to embarrass the Bush administration. The same could be said for other movie critics reviewing the Oliver Stone “biopic” W. Again, it was an opportunity for insignificant film reviewers to take gratuitous shots at George W. Bush as his Presidency wound down. Heck, said reviewers figured it might even land them a guest spot on Keith Olbermann’s program.

Speaking of Olby, he spent years being an insufferable putz on ESPN, NBC Sports and Fox Sports. Not wanting to degrade himself in the sports world any longer (either that, or his former bosses probably couldn’t stand the guy, thus gassing him), Olbermann jumped on the fast track to becoming a grubby little parasite in the political commentary genre with the MSNBC show Countdown to no ratings. And the quickest route to making a name for himself? Why, savaging President Bush of course. So hyperbolic was Olby in his nightly criticism of Bush (which continues to this day, five months after he left the White House) that he proclaimed the propaganda book of former press secretary Scott McClellan “a primary document of American history.” Political commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are also frequent targets of Olby’s incoherent screeds because those two guys possess what he sorely lacks: a vast audience. Since Olbermann can’t even attract more viewers than Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, he has to glom on to media titans like Limbaugh and O’Reilly in an attempt to enhance his standing in the media circles.

But the one area where we could safely assume transcended politics was...ahem...."adult" publications, specifically Playboy magazine. Ah, but a company who vehemently defended it's magazine as "empowering to women" sank to the depths of depravity earlier this month. More specifically a no-name writer on Playboy's web site decided to publish a list of top 10 hated conservative women he'd like to fornicate (click the link if you care to know the vile description of his desired acts). But since writer Guy Cimbalo was a virtual nobody in the world of smut, what better way to make a name for himself?

I understand that skewering of politicians goes back a long way. From mocking Gerald Ford's clumsiness to pointing out Ronald Reagan's advanced age to snickering at Bill Clinton's "wandering eye", goodness knows there was a target rich environment. But the tone in today's political discussion makes it difficult to draw a distinction between poking fun and displaying abject hatred.


If you think Canadian health care is so great.....

Is this what we want here in America????


Friday, June 12, 2009

Steel Town prevails again

Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins (or as my wife's cousin from Southwestern Pennsylvania says, "PANG WINS") on winning the Stanley Cup Friday night. The Pens went on the road in Game 7 and defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1.

So within the last four months, Pittsburgh has crowned both a Super Bowl winner and Stanley Cup champion!

You know, if the Pittsburgh Pirates can catch fire......Ah, never mind.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Separated at Birth: VP Biden & Col. Blake

In an episode of M*A*S*H*, Col. Blake (right, played by McLean Stevenson) once said "Will you stop saying what I'm thinking?" Given his plethora of verbal gaffes, the Vice President should give himself that advice


Monday, June 08, 2009

Happy Birthday Bonnie Tyler

The husky-voiced Welsh singer turns 58 today.

Ms. Tyler scored such top 40 hits as It's A Heartache, Holding out for a Hero and Total Eclipse of the Heart, which hit #1 in 1983.

Now enjoy some comic relief in the following parody of Bon's top hit from the '83:


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Pawlenty will not seek third term; Who's up for the GOP in '10? (UPDATE: Possible candidates)

My wife and I with Gov. Tim Pawlenty at the 2004 MN State Fair

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has announced he will not seek a third term in 2010.

For my money, Pawlenty brought a tremendous amount of dignity and class to the office. Of course, that may sound like damnation with faint praise given that we endured four years of Jesse Ventura and eight years of Arne Carlson. But Pawlenty's common sense approach to balancing the state budget has been sorely needed, especially since Democrats attained a solid majority in both the House and Senate in 2006. Sure, he wasn't as conservative as I would have liked, especially when it came to the environment, smoking bans and taxpayer funded stadiums. But given the political dynamics in Minnesota, Pawlenty was as close to a conservative as we could get.

I guess I'm not shocked by this announcement. It was rumored last fall that Pawlenty was one of the finalists for John McCain's running mate, a sure sign he has aspirations beyond state government. Pawlenty has also appeared on many national talk shows this year and has never denied possibly running for President in 2012.

Politically, declining a third term may be the smartest move. With less than two years remaining as Governor now, Pawlenty can virtually govern carte blanche as long as there are no GOP defectors in the House. He has already vowed to utilize the line-item veto on the latest state budget passed by the House and Senate.

Of course, the discussion now turns to who will vie for the GOP nomination in 2010. Some names I've heard thus far are State Rep. Laura Brod (New Prague) and State Sen. Mike Jungbauer (East Bethel), but it's early yet.

Whatever the case, I wish Mr. Pawlenty well and thank him immensely for his service to our great state!

UPDATE: First Ringer at True North lists some possbile GOP candidates.