Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sweet Thug

Sources: Kennedy Hopes To Bring Obama In To Campaign - Subheadline, WCBS television news story, January 13.

Caroline Kennedy is a thug.

She, of course, doesn't look like a thug. She's not a felon, a sociopath or a violent menace to society.

She's a political thug. And those people are not uncommon in the world of superpower politics. Welcome to the club, Caroline.

Kennedy is leveraging every ounce of power she possesses to sit in Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. From the beginning, it has been an embarrassing spectacle.

The news from WCBS that Kennedy is going to use the future president of the United States to win appointment to the Senate is no surprise. It's likely been happening for weeks with an assist from Mayor Napoleon Bloomberg. As we get closer to Hillary Clinton's confirmation as Secretary of State, Kennedy wants everyone to know Barack Obama is for her.

This unimpressive, painfully inarticulate woman has coasted through life with barely a care about New York state and it's political atmosphere.

For her, voting is a nuisance. For her, holding a real news conference to answer serious questions is demeaning. For her, financial disclosure is an invasion of privacy.

The media has described Kennedy's unseemly quest for a Senate seat as a "campaign" in the traditional sense of the word. It's not. What Kennedy has launched is an intimidation scheme aimed squarely at one man: Governor David Paterson.

If Governor Paterson succumbs and appoints her to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat he will expose himself as the 98-pound weakling of New York politics. He will be a governor who allowed the Kennedy family to kick sand in his face and browbeat him into doing exactly what they covet, which is always power.

Caroline Kennedy's political thuggery is anchored by her surname. The only reason she's not treated as a laughable, fringe Pierre Rinfret-type contender for the Senate is because she's a Kennedy. That obvious fact is lost on millions of New Yorkers. They don't care.

New Yorkers don't care because the Kennedys are supposed to be "American royalty." They're "Camelot." Right. In his act, the late comedian George Carlin changed one letter in "Camelot" for accuracy purposes. He replaced the "a" with a "u."

History exposes this bunch as one of most wretched and reprehensible political families to ever shame America with their destructive presence. Since she's running only on her name, Governor Paterson needs a refresher course on Caroline Kennedy's family.

* Grandfather Joe was a Nazi sympathetizing, bootlegging, serial adulterer who forced his daughter to get a lobotomy.

* Father John was a feckless, philandering, pretty boy speechifier, and the Soviet Union knew it. They started building the Berlin Wall seven months into his presidency, which he didn't have the guts to stop. He compromised national security by sleeping with spies, had the infamous "Dr. Feelgood" at the ready to medicate him and nearly dragged our country into a nuclear war because of his known weaknesses.

* Uncle Bobby was Senator Joe McCarthy's ruthless lawyer, approved the wiretapping of Martin Luther King and, shocking for a Kennedy, cheated on his wife Ethel with Marilyn Monroe. Joe DiMaggio made it a point to blow the sainted Bobby off at a Yankee Stadium pre-game ceremony because he knew he was a snake.

* Brother John was an "adrenaline junkie" woefully unqualified, while injured, to fly the plane that killed him, his wife and his sister-in-law. If he crashed on land he could have also killed innocent people on the ground.

And there is Uncle Teddy, the driving force behind the Sweet Thug's intimidation scheme. His amoral life has many chapters, and Chappaquiddick defines it.

When I was a U.S. Senate staffer, I worked on the fourth floor of the Russell Senate Office Building. Kennedy's office was on the third floor.

One early morning I got on the elevator to get a cup of coffee. It stopped at the third floor, and in walked Ted Kennedy with an aide and his two Portuguese water dogs. I knew the name of one of the dogs already - Splash.

Kennedy leaned over, rubbed the dog behind the ears and in baby-talk said, "good Splash, are you a good Splash, good Splash." I wanted to throw up because I thought about Mary Jo Kopechne's family.

A splash is what happened to Kennedy's car when he drove it off the Dike Bridge. A splash that killed Mary Jo Kopechne.

So this is the family name Caroline is using in an attempt to intimidate Governor Paterson and parachute into the United States Senate after a life of leisure and indifference. New Yorkers should be repulsed by what the Sweet Thug is trying to pull off.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Super Bowl Of Cliches On Mike & Mike

Official ESPN Transcript

Mike Greenberg: Welcome back to Mike and Mike in the morning on ESPN Radio. Joining us now to break down this weekend's NFC and AFC championship games is Hall of Famer Mike Ditka. Coach, thanks for joining us. First, what is the key to victory for the Steelers-Ravens game?

Ditka: Well, this game is for the bragging rights, Mike. The Steelers can't underestimate the Ravens, and have to go out there and play Steelers football. They have to find a way to limit what Ed Reed can do. He can take over a game. The weather is going to be a factor, and Ben Roethlisberger has to dictate the tempo of the game. He has to stay upright and avoid the sack.

Mike Golic: Coach, talk about what the Cardinals have to do against the Eagles.

Ditka: The Cardinals need to get it done in their building. Stay out of third down and long situations, and prevent the Ravens from working with a short field. Get the crowd into the football game. Kurt Warner has to find passing lanes, make the big plays downfield and eat the clock.

Greenberg: Coach, break it down and tell us if the Cardinals have any shot at beating the Eagles.

Ditka: If I'm the Cardinals, I know any time you're in a playoff game you always have a chance to win. You just have to minimize the mental mistakes. The Eagles need to neutralize Larry Fitzgerald. He's a big play threat every time he touches the football.

Golic: Coach, is the Ravens defense going to be the difference in the football game?

Ditka: It will if they go out there and punch 'em in the mouth. The Ravens have to get after it. When you talk about the Ravens defense you talk about putting pressure on Donovan McNabb. He can't force the football into the secondary against this defense and try to win the game by himself if they hope to win.

Greenberg: Coach, as you break it down, what is the X factor in both of these games?

Ditka: They need to score touchdowns inside the red zone, and establish a tone. Each team has to take advantage of the opportunities they're given and stick to the fundamentals. If you lose, you go home.

Golic: Coach, why have the Cardinals made it deep into the playoffs?

Ditka: The players have bought into the system, and they're doing all the little things they need to do to win. This team has taken on the personality of Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt. When you've got a Kurt Warner calling the plays, you can put points on the scoreboard. He's a natural leader.

Greenberg: Coach, Willie Parker rushed for 146 yards for the Steelers against the Chargers. Break down for us why that happened.

Ditka: He's a physical football player, and their workhorse. He has a nose for the ball, and can make things happen out there. The writing is on the wall if he runs for another 146 yards.

Golic: Coach, why has coach Andy Reid been able to engineer this comeback for the Eagles?

Ditka: Give him a lot of credit. He's all about winning. He always has his team ready to play. He has a good, solid foundation there. I can't say enough about him.

Greenberg: Coach, break down what the Ravens need to do to stop the Steelers rushing game.

Ditka: The Ravens are playing inspired defense. It's a swarming defense. Ray Lewis is still getting it done by playing with reckless abandon and making the players around him better. Number 52 thrives under pressure.

Golic: Coach, what are your picks for each game, and the eventual Super Bowl winner?

Ditka: The Eagles and Steelers. No question about it. It's a game of inches, and it will be a close game. But Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb will finally get the monkey off their backs and win the Super Bowl.

Greenberg: Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is with us. Coach, thanks for joining us again to break it all down.

Previous: The Super Bowl of Cliches I, and how you know you watch too much football.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Governor Paterson Questionnaire

"Candidates hoping to be appointed to the United States Senate by Gov. David A. Paterson are being asked to divulge details about their finances, job history and any criminal record, several of them said on Monday. At least six contenders for the seat have received copies of a 28-page questionnaire, including Caroline Kennedy . . ." - The New York Times.

1. If you were previously employed in the Queens District Attorney's office, and never passed the bar exam, you should:

A) Lie, and claim the job title of "assistant district attorney" in your official biography.
B) Possess the integrity to not call yourself an assistant district attorney until you pass the bar exam, try a case in open court and win a conviction.

2. The ethical way to spend campaign funds you raise are:

A) On bar tabs, suits and hotel rooms.
B) For honest political advertisements that explain your positions on the issues.

3. One day after becoming Governor of New York, you should:

A) Confess to adultery and turn New York into a nationwide laughingstock, again, in the wake of Eliot Spitzer's resignation.
B) Not commit adultery.

4. While Lieutenant Governor, if you have a home in Guilderland, 20 minutes from the Capitol, you should:

A) Use your state credit card to bill taxpayers 13 times for stays at downtown Albany hotels even though there was no emergency reason for it.
B) Remain home and conveniently get transported into your office.

5. When asked intrusive personal questions about your personal life by the media you should:

A) Pretend you're a self-indulgent guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and confess to snorting cocaine.
B) Not snort cocaine.

6. After months of calling for spending cuts with a $15 billion current-year budget deficit you should:

A) Alienate your supporters, and transform yourself into a fast talking fraud by proposing a budget that increases spending.
B) Cut spending.

7. If you're appointed, you should:

A) Support legislation that provides non-citizens of the United States of America the right to vote in New York .
B) Deny non-citizens the right to vote until they become citizens.

8. If you're plucked from obscurity in 1985 and win a seat in the state Senate, you believe the plucking should be done by:

A) Your father.
B) Your mother.
C) Your Uncle Teddy.
D) You have no relatives in politics.
E) You better pick A, or else.

9. If you were to deliver New York's State of the State address you should:

A) Arrogantly tell parents they are too stupid to understand "childhood obesity" and demand a tax on sugary drinks.
B) Forgo a government lecture to moms and dads about how to raise their children.

10. When asked by a reporter about your federal income taxes you should:

A) Blurt out that you underpaid your taxes.
B) Pay your taxes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Albany's Albatross

Dear Mayor Jerry Jennings,

It's your fault.

It's your fault Albany is plummeting into decay and decline. You have led my city for 15 years. And failed. Miserably.

Whether it's law enforcement, economic policies or quality of life, you have presided over a public policy calamity.

Last year there was a terrible outbreak of violence. A little girl shot and killed in broad daylight while playing with her friends; an innocent University at Albany student shot behind the head to also become one of the city's tragic homicide statistics.

Albany High School is a haven for juvenile delinquents and bureaucratic buffoonery. It has a gang infestation, a detached principal and incompetent security methods. You pretend those problems don't exist. Gangs? What gangs?

Out-of-control Albany High School and the criminality in the city is your fault. You used to be a senior administrator at the school, and you can't exert influence over it. None.

Marauding teenagers ride their bicycles past my State Street apartment after midnight constantly on school nights. How would you like to walk back from a Lark Street market and suddenly get surrounded by six kids on bikes staring at you and deciding if they want to rob you or deliver a beat down just for fun? I can handle one thug. Six is a mismatch.

So what happened to the curfew for children before the Common Council, Mr. Mayor?

It's your fault there's still no curfew. It will be your fault as these underage predators continue to commit crimes when they're supposed to be sleeping.

It's your fault a Keystone Cops operation thrives. Your administration had an unofficial policy of writing fake parking tickets for connected people with special stickers on their cars. What was your response? You denied any knowledge of the scheme. As did your police commissioner James Tuffey. You were both lying.

Public safety and integrity in law enforcement is a low priority for you. You don't have the power to fire cops, and barely care about it. Because of the blue-wall-of-silence goons you kowtow to in the city's police union. I'm tired of reading about the dirty cops that serve under you, and how you've done nothing to reform a broken system that employs them.

It's your fault I can't drive down Central Avenue without bouncing over one huge pothole after another. You're incapable of performing a basic function of government such as fixing the roads.

It's your fault downtown Albany is dilapidated. Have you noticed the eyesore, the complete embarrassment that the Wellington Hotel has been for over a decade? Or noticed the sad, shuttered state of the former Barnaby's Pub, which is next to it? Both are in the shadow of the Capitol.

Your feckless leadership can't keep open businesses a mere two minute walk from the Capitol. It's our state's seat of power, with a natural customer-base of legislators, lobbyists and state, city and county employees a permanent presence. Your city's economy should flourish. Easily.

It's your fault the Empire Plaza skating rink is closed. You have the power to prevent a high profile rink from going under, which costs a pittance to operate given what you waste in your $161 million city budget every year. All you have to do is get on the phone to Governor Paterson and demand the rink not be closed.

I know why you created this ice rink public relations scam. It's the "Washington Monument Strategy." Pick a high profile destination for people and tell them it's closing. Governor Paterson is doing the same thing with our state parks.

You know where the real money is located in your budget, but you decided to concoct an excuse to deliver to the people of Albany to keep your union supporters and other special interests exempt from spending cuts. See, the skating rink in our city had to close, is what you can proclaim. What more do you want from me? Instead, you're now reduced to asking for private donations to keep the rink open because of the loss of state funds to operate it.

It's your fault there has been a population decline of at least 5,000 in the city since you took office. You're not the Mayor of Utica, where there is no monstrous state government bureaucracy to anchor the local economy. You're the Mayor of Albany, and you still can't prevent people from leaving.

And what is your response as Albany confronts crime, abandoned and burned-out buildings along with your inability to carry out simple city responsibilities mayors throughout the country easily execute? You raised property taxes last year.
Congratulations. You're driving more people out of the city. Wait until you see the 2010 Census Bureau figures for Albany. I guarantee you'll see more population flight.

This year you're going to run for a fifth term as an aspiring Erastus Corning mayor-for-life, and you'll win. In the four years of that fifth term there will be more and greater failures. Nearly all of them will be your fault. As usual.



Friday, January 2, 2009

Steve Coffey: Why, You Must Be A Nazi

It's not enough to object to a political opinion today. Language beyond the bounds of acceptable criticism has to be invoked by people who can't control themselves.

Such as calling someone a Nazi.

Meet Steve Coffey, a prominent attorney with the Albany firm O'Connell and Aronowitz. Self-control is not one of Coffey's specialties, to put it mildly.

Last week during an appearance on WGDJ's Paul Vandenburgh Infomercial Show, Coffey called nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin a Nazi. Levin's show is heard on the station every night and I listen to it often. Because I agree with nearly every word Levin utters.

Vandenburgh, the part-owner of the station and program director, sat there like a potted plant and said nothing in response to Coffey's slur.

Calling Mark Levin a Nazi is calling me a Nazi.

I rarely dial into a talk radio program. But the combination of Coffey's reckless language and Vandenburgh's pathetic failure to mount one syllable in defense of a show he decided to put on his own station was too much to tolerate.

"Why did you call Mark Levin a Nazi?," I asked Coffey. He was unprepared to answer and responded weakly by citing "hate" on the radio.

"Give me a specific example for why you believe Mark Levin is a Nazi," I demanded. Again, he failed to answer. He couldn't provide one single example for why he believes Levin is a Nazi. Mark Levin is, of course, not a Nazi and that's the reason Coffey was left floundering for the words to explain himself.

What could he possibly say? Levin was a guard at Buchenwald?

Shortly after I informed Coffey that Mark Levin is Jewish, the phone call was cut off. To save him from further embarrassment.

Mark Levin's career is deeply admirable. He has served his country as a senior official in the Reagan administration. He is the author of the bestseller Men In Black: How The Supreme Court Is Destroying America, a relentless champion of our troops overseas and the head of the Landmark Legal Foundation.

I wonder what Coffey's partners and colleagues at O'Connell and Aronowitz think about him blathering "Nazi" at a respected Jewish American who is heard on hundreds of radio stations nationwide. Levin has over 5 million weekly listeners.

Millions of Americans don't turn on their radios to listen to a Nazi every night. Yet, Steve Coffey is so deluded he believes Mark Levin walks around with an invisible swastika on his arm. Perhaps he should think twice about the evil Adolf Hitler unleashed the next time he decides to attack someone with one of the most disgusting words in human history.