Monday, September 29, 2008

Do or Die






This past Sunday I got to see the legendary Brett Favre do his thing in person for the first time. To put it quite mildly he did not disappoint, throwing a career high 6 touchdowns. Not only did this set a personal record but he also matched the team record previously held solely by the New York Jets original legend - Joe Namath - a man ballsy enough to guarantee entry to the Promised Land and talented enough to make good on it. Time is not on Brett Favre's side to duplicate this accomplishment, but he understands as well as anyone that there is no moment like the present and looks determined to make the best of it. If his coaches also respect the urgency of the matter and let Favre carry the team as far as his strong arm and fearless disposition can take them, it seems destined to be one hell of a ride for Jets fans. Dreaming of the Super Bowl seemed too much of a stretch at the beginning of this season due to sharing a conference with the almighty New England Patriots. Now that the head of the Brady Bunch (which is not you, Bill Belichick) is down for the count, the honor of AFC representative in the big game is basically up for grabs. Brett's reach for the Lombardi trophy, even at the age of 38, is as long as anybody's. If his performance against the Arizona Cardinals is any indication, and if the Jets can get the defensive side of the line in order over their bye week, the next three quarters of this season promise to be something special. Win, lose or draw, there's a word that will not likely be used to describe the Jets for the remainder of the Favre era - boring. In one afternoon all Chad Pennington nostolgia, even that felt by his best buddy Laveranues Coles, was eradicated. There's a new sherrif in town who can sling it with the best of 'em. I sure hope Joe Namath is maintaining sobritety so he can enjoy these theatrics along with the rest of us. Joe above all should be able to appreciate the biggest of stars doing what he does best on the brightest of stages.































Speaking of being on a pressure packed stage, I'm really looking forward to the vice presidential debate on Thursday between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. I eagerly anticipated the showdown that recently took place between John McCain and Barack Obama, and McCain's "maybe I'll show up, maybe I won't" stance added to the intrigue, but when the smoke cleared it turned out basically to be what was expected. Two pros went out there and jabbed away, both landing a fair share of blows, neither managing a knock out. It reminded me of a Pay Per View boxing match, reasonably entertaining but ultimately failing to live up to the build up that causes me to shell out $50 that I always swear never to do again. But as the past couple weeks have shown, once the muzzle has been taken off there's just no way to accurately predict how Sarah Palin will perform. Give her a script and a partisan audience and she's almost certain to knock the ball out of the park. Throw legitimate non-true/false or multiple choice questions at her in front of people as willing to jeer as they are to cheer, and there's a reasonable chance she'll come off sounding even more ridiculous than those hysterical Tina Fey parodies on Saturday Night Live. If she can't deal with an underarm Katie Couric pitch, how will she deal with legitimate queries followed by cross examining from Biden? He certainly has some debating flaws of his own, but surely he can be coached to keep his answers brief and on point. Can Sarah Palin be trained by crash course to become knowledgeable and confident and coherant on a wide range of executive level subjects? We'll see soon enough. Since the republicans are so good at pulling surprises, I advise Joe Biden not to take his upcoming task lightly. It's probably against the rules for her to distract him by showing up for the debate in a bikini, but I expect at least one screwball in attempt to throw the loquacious senator off his game. Perhaps Palin will announce before the first question that she is pregnant with her sixth child. Trying bullying her then, Biden. As the accompanying photos show, Sarah Palin is the most dangerous sort of animal, a political one. That means no holds barred. Biden needs to take a page out of the books of Joe Namath and Brett Favre. Leave nothing on the field. Screw the five yard completion when the sixty yard bomb is sort of open. There is one opponent who absolutely cannot be allowed to be the victor, and that is fear. Fear is precisely what will reign if Palin and McCain are voted into the White House. The thought of it stamps two words on my mind. Hell no.
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- Roy Pickering (Author of Feeding the Squirrels: A novella)
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Quote of the day:
Katie Couric: Why isn't it better, Gov. Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?
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Gov. Sarah Palin: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the -- it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.
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Web Site of the day: http://mccainkeatingfive.com/

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Face of Change/Experience/Feminism/Family & Small Town Values/Hotness/Whatever else the Republican party can convince you of















Sarah Palin is the republican selection for vice presidential candidate. I say the republican selection rather than John McCain's choice because I doubt he had very much to do with it, which says a great deal about how much of his own man the so called maverick actually is nowadays. Joe Lieberman did a wonderful impersonation of Benedict Arnold the other night but never had a snowball's chance in hell of being the VP nominee no matter how tight he and McCain are. Clearly John's handlers and professional political spin doctors were growing increasingly worried that "The Celebrity" was going to clean "The Straight Talker's" clock, so they had to come up with something big to shake up the polls, and they needed to do so ASAP. It's easy to picture them saying behind closed doors - "How about a shocking choice for VP, someone practically no one will have heard of much less expected to be selected? Sounds like a plan." Next thing you know the world is being introduced to Sarah Palin, governor of the state of Alaska which is about half the size of the borough of Brooklyn but probably has more oil, though not nearly as many West Indians. Before becoming governor of our late arriving state she was mayor of some town that has a population smaller than the occupancy of my office building. I have not actually checked to confirm if this statement is factual, but anyone reading this feel free to find out approximately how many people work in the New York Life Building and let me know if it's more than 8000. Such an unlikely candidate certainly meets the SURPRISE criteria. Did I mention that Sarah is a woman? That means all disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters can move on over to the other party because they have the most ovaries on the ticket by far. Mrs. Palin is a mother of five which I suppose makes her five times the woman that Hillary is, so no need to let little things like her anti woman's right to choose abortion even in the most extreme situations; anti-birth control education (abstinence or bust); let's teach Creationism in the classrooms while making sure every student has the right to own a gun stances get in the way of voting for her and John McCain. At 44 years old she's about half a century (okay, that's a slight exaggeration) younger than her ticket mate, another item to check off. Youthful vigor and minority status are no longer the sole domains of Barack Obama in this year's presidential race, but McCain continues to be the only resident former POW, which as we know is the most necessary qualification a presidential candidate can possess. For those who like White House occupants to be folksy like that good old boy George Dubya Bush rather than eloquent like Obama or stiff as a board like McCain, Sarah has that going on too. She sounds just like Frances McDormand in Fargo. As for who she physically resembles, I'll let the photographs above speak for themselves. This is rather ironic since the whole selection process (apparently Sarah met with the man who "picked" her once for all of 15 minutes) seems like a bad Saturday Night Live skit. Mrs. Palin came out with all guns (fortunately not literally) blazing when she spoke at the republican convention and was officially introduced to her newfound rabid fan club. They gave her a long standing ovation before she spoke a single word simply for not tripping on her way to the podium. Talk about setting a low bar for success. She proceeded to do a fine job of reading the speech that was written for her off the space age teleprompter, causing ovation after ovation after ovation to erupt, yet never managing to wake her newborn baby son in the audience. I on the other hand can't belch without accidentally waking my daughter in her sound proof room. Republican politicians by definition are masters at going on the senseless attack. Sarah Palin did not disappoint in this department. After spending about 4 hours introducing everyone to the members of her immediate family awake or otherwise, she went on to chastise the media for daring to make any remarks about anyone in her family. The former beauty pageant contestant stood there as if receiving an award for mother of the year rather than accepting the VP nomination, then ripped into the media for daring to suggest that her parenting skills fall a little shy of the standard set by June Cleaver. No one is supposed to comment on her 17 year old daughter being pregnant and unmarried because men who run for public office are never asked if they will be able to be both a good politician and a good father. Fair enough. No one is supposed to ridicule the vetting process that enabled her to be picked ahead of so many other far more qualified candidates because that isn't very nice. Okay. No one is supposed to question the brevity and lameness of her resume because she doesn't like it when people say mean things unless she's the one saying them about Barack Obama. All right, I guess. No one is supposed to check on or care about the allegations of improper behavior as governor, allegedly using her influence to get a former in-law fired from his job, because this would get in the way of believing she is Wonder Woman, Joan of Arc, Mia Farrow, Oprah, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, Rosa Parks, and the Statue of Liberty lady all rolled into one Ronald Reagan approved package. Really? That seems to be asking a bit much. Gimmicks and trick plays do work from time to time on a football field, and can even end up being the margin of victory. But since McCain and the republican party pulled their wild card with several months of campaigning left to go, the evil empire of the media (except when they're fawing about republicans, then they're just fine and dandy) and the democratic party has plenty of time to point out the little man behind the curtain operating the Wizard of Oz, and there is ample opportunity for the truth (rather than slickly produced propoganda) to reveal itself. Once the smoke from the fireworks has cleared everyone will be able to see that the choice before us is the same as it has been from the start. If you want to continue in the war mongering, economy destroying direction George Bush has been taking this country for the last eight years, or if you believe that like Justin Timberlake the role of Vice President is to bring sexy back, vote McCain-Palin. If you have something else in mind, forget all the partisan fact distorting ads and catchy slogans and simply listen. This should allow you to determine who is speaking with the calm yet passionate voice of reason, and who is merely full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.








- Roy Pickering (Author of Feeding the Squirrels: A Novella)