Monthly Archives: October 2012


Reprinted from

Contrary to media reports, Franken-Storm has nothing to do with Al Franken still being in the Senate.

Just kidding. There are no media reports about Al Franken still being in the Senate. He’s a comedian, and now he is in the Senate. Enough said about that.

I wonder if it was Al Franken who coined the phrase Franken-Storm. I assume that whoever named Franken-Storm came from Washington D.C. I don’t know why I assume that, but I do. Continue reading

Moments in Time

Reprinted from Loose Change (

1. Was fortunate to be at Neil Young’s Bridge Concert last Sunday. An amazing event, in an outdoor amphitheater in Mountain View. Jack White; K.D. Lang (forgot how incredible she was); Ray LaMontagne (“Trouble!”); Lucinda Williams; Steve Martin; Flaming Lips (a fav of mine—disappointed); Gary Jones, Jr.; Guns N’ Roses (Axl lives!); and legend Neil with Crazy Horse. Peak experience: being “there.” Jack White did some Stripes and Blunderbuss stuff, but his band was all New Orleans honky tonk. Absolutely Killer.

2. Spotted the guy who does the Men’s Wearhouse commercials (“I guarantee it”). Huge head, huger nose, all stuck on a tiny body. He was sucking on a reefer like there was no tomorrow. No doubt medicinal. Continue reading

Another Election

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From Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine

I’ve been here for two days preparing for, and actually observing, the Ukrainian parliamentary elections. I was part of the International Observer Mission in that effort.


The day before I hopped on an airplane from Kiev to come down here, we were briefed by various government and political leaders. One person in our group asked whether international observers could remain in a precinct to watch the counting process. Continue reading

Mind Your Own Business

Reprinted from Loose Change (

“Oh, the woman on our party line’s the nosiest thing, she picks up her receiver when she knows it’s my ring.”—Hank Williams

 . . . listening to my favorite radio station yesterday hoping for some perspectives on the presidential debate . . . lucky me . . . what I got instead was the just-released recordings of the 911 calls made from Accent Signage while crazed killer Andrew Engeldinger was slaughtering six innocent coworkers. Yum. Continue reading

Debate Backwash

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The first debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney changed the direction of the campaign. In the two-plus weeks since that debate Obama’s lead in national polls and nearly every battleground state poll has shrunk or Romney has pulled ahead.

The second debate, which most observers believe Obama won on style points, has had no effect on the race whatsoever.

At least so far. Continue reading

Voters Understand Fiscal Cliff

Reprinted from the Bipartisan Policy Institute

In failing to address the foolishness of present policy, candidates make a comprehensive response less likely.

Center Forward recently released the results of a poll taken by Purple Insights, asking 1,000 likely voters how much they knew about the “fiscal cliff,” the massive increases in taxes and cuts in spending scheduled to occur within the first two days of January 2013. Continue reading

Presidential Debate, Channeling Al Gore

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Naomi Wolf must have called Barack Obama and given her two cents about how the President could seem more macho in debate number 2. He certainly was channeling his inner Al-Gore at the beginning of the “Thriller on Long Island,” when he moved aggressively into Mitt Romney’s personal space.

Romney followed suit, and at a few points, you thought that maybe something bad was going to happen. It never did, but this debate showed the personal animosity that the President has for his opponent.

Continue reading

Obama Rebounds for Win

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Short answer: Obama rebounded strongly in this debate. Romney was prepared and did as well as he did in the first one, but Obama’s performance was so much better than last time, he gets the win.

Mitt Romney got the first question (from a college student asking about the availability of a job after he graduates). He walked over to “Jeremy” and spoke directly to him. Barack Obama also walked to the student and used the answer to attack Romney on wanting to “bankrupt Detroit.”

Candy Crowley busted the rules right off the bat by asking a follow-up question – what about short-term jobs – which both men used as an excuse to get on each other. Continue reading

VP Debate Meaningless

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The Vice Presidential debates are usually meaningless. The one last night was more meaningless than most meaningless Vice Presidential debates.

The most famous debate put-down in history came when Lloyd Bentsen tore into Dan Quayle, who, let’s face it, was no Jack Kennedy. Quayle looked like a fool, but his playing partner still won the election.

The highest-rated Vice Presidential debate had can-I-call-you Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. Palin exceeded all expectations and won the debate on style points, but that had no measurable effect on the trajectory of John McCain’s ultimate defeat. Continue reading

A Case of Bad Gas

Reprinted from Loose Change (

There are certain things about human beings that are shared, validating the old joke about what the Zen master said to the hot dog vendor: “Make me one with everything.” Universally we all share sexuality, eating, loving, spirituality, even bad gas. I defy you to name any among us who hasn’t experienced a bit of the bubbly in the lower trunk.

Hang on to that feeling for a moment.

When it comes to the economy, how do we spell R-E-L-I-E-F? Romney and Obama have their plans, but God knows which is better or worse. Bottom line: This economic gas requires that something’s got to give. Continue reading

Blue Mountains and Budget Cliffs


WINTERGREEN, VA (Oct. 7, 2012)—The Blue Ridge Mountains are spectacular, even on a cold, overcast gray day in October. The leaves are turning color and the tranquility is sedating. Crisp 40-degree temperatures sharpen the senses, but still beckon you outdoors for slow walks and casual conversations.

Congressman Paul Ryan is here, preparing for his debate later in the week with the Vice President, jovial Joe Biden, the man who always says just a little more than he should. Continue reading

The Real Mitt Romney

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The central question of this Presidential campaign seems to be an odd one:  Who is the real Mitt Romney?

We could ask the same question about Barack Obama. Is Obama the left-wing socialist, the lucky s.o.b. who beat a series of weak candidates to waltz into the White House and a job way over his head, or the most brilliant political strategist in the history of mankind?

I honestly don’t know the answer to the Obama question. He has elements of all three in his political persona.

The Romney question is a bit easier to answer. Continue reading

Big Bird, Show Us The Money

Reprinted from

‘Hey!  Waddya Mean I’m Part of the 1%?’

Has anyone seen the slightly amateurish ads lately by the Obama campaign that tries to hammer Governor Romney on ‘cutting Big Bird’ out of the federal budget?

Probably not since even Big Bird and PBS have asked the Obama campaign to take them off the public airwaves.

At a time when we have 23 million un/underemployed people in this nation, gas prices spiking like Billy Idol’s peroxided hair, and the Middle East completely coming apart at the seams, the geniuses behind the Obama Phenomenon of 2008 have resorted to a childish attack on Governor Romney on a serious issue such as budget discipline behind…..Big Bird? Continue reading

Romney Hits Middle East Failures


Gov. Mitt Romney introduced the crises in the Middle East to the campaign conversation this week with some tough talk about the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, and the wave of protests that took place on that day in nearly a dozen other countries.

Romney is the wrong messenger, but he’s right about the issue. This is not about the campaign. This is about foreign policy.

The Obama Administration needs to come clean about what happened on that day and what has occurred since. And more needs to be said about our lame policies toward Iran, the growing militancy all across the Middle East (so much for the touted tilt toward the West of the Arab Spring) and the increased tension between Israel and her neighbors, the incomprehensible death and destruction in Syria, the eruption of more violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the volatile antics of Iran’s Ahmedinijad. Continue reading

My Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

Reprinted from

We were somewhat amused by President Obama and his political consultant David Axelrod ‘accusing’ Mitt Romney of ‘exploding the deficit’ with his ‘$5 trillion tax plan!’

Well, they should know, shouldn’t they? President Obama and his Administration have broken the world records for the accumulation of debt over the past 4 years. They are veritable experts at ‘exploding the deficit!’

President Obama and David Axelrod accusing Mitt Romney of ‘exploding the deficit’ is like Chicago mobster Al Capone ‘accusing’ squeaky-clean G-man Eliot Ness of illegally running bootlegged liquor during Prohibition. Continue reading

Obama Performance: Excuses Keep Coming


The first presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 3  confounded the narrative of the mainstream media that Mitt Romney was a dead man walking and that President Obama was on his way to a significant victory. It rendered that view obsolete, at best.

Never mind that the most recent surveys already had indicated the race had tightened back to something pretty close to a dead heat. In the world where the media and the liberal chattering class reside, only a nitwit could pretend that Mitt Romney stood a chance to prevail. Continue reading

The Big Debate: REE-Act

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The pundiferous universe was acting as if the laws of political physics had been repealed as it tried to make sense of Barack Obama’s abysmal performance in his debate with Mitt Romney Wednesday night.

Why didn’t Obama respond? Why didn’t Obama mention the 47 percent? Or Bain Capital. Or that dog-on-the-roof-of-the-car thing?

Why, at a minimum, didn’t Obama challenge Romney on the facts? Continue reading

Presidential Debates and Other Matters

Reprinted by

With most of official Washington on nitroglycerin tablets awaiting tonight’s D*E*B*A*T*E between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in Denver, there are other things going on.

To start with, those pesky polls are beginning to tighten up again. Remember just about 10 minutes ago how the worldwide cadre of official political pundits, reporters, hangers-on, and operatives said this race was over and Obama could just take a knee for the next five week? Continue reading

Independent Voters

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In the 2008 election, the independent voter was the king.

Remember how everybody was talking about independents being the true swing voter? Remember how Barack Obama killed John McCain with independent voters, and that is how he easily won the election?

In 2008, independent voters voted for 51 to 43 percent for the Democrats and President Obama.

By contrast, in the 2010 election, Republicans trounced the Democrats among independent voters, 55 percent to 39 percent. That was the big reason that the GOP had the biggest midterm election night since 1938. Continue reading

Barack Obama’s Charmed Life


President Barack Obama has had a charmed political life.

He has been a first class passenger on a supersonic rise in politics from community activist, state legislator and part-time U.S. Senator to President of the United States. And now he is running for a second term, wrapped in coats of Teflon slapped on so thick the negatives just don’t stick.

President Obama is rising in the polls and enjoying high personal popularity at a time when so much seems to be crumbling around him. Continue reading