Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I had planned to write my own small analysis of what The President said in his State of the Union speech; and I began the evening with my yellow pad and fountain pen keeping notes. But as the speech went on I learned something about myself.

I continue to gain a much greater appreciation of what went on in the Clinton years. I thought those who spent so much time sniping at Clinton..name calling, nit picking....were just a bunch of sore losers. That they just weren't willing to open their eyes and minds to look at what he was doing or deal with the real issues but just had a basic hatred of the man.

Watching tonight's speech I realize that I have the exact same feelings (in reverse). I simply can't stand this man (Bush). I disagree with his policies, I think he is uncaring about the average American or the impact of his policies. I think he lives in a rarified world and doesn't know or care that he does. He is arrogant, cocky, smarmy. He is willing to break the law when he wants to and dare anyone to challenge him. Cindy Sheehan gets arrested but HIS dead soldier's mom gets a place of honor. It's disgusting.

There may have been something worthwhile within the speech but I couldn't find it because I can't stand the man. It's visceral.

It is a revelation to me. I'm certainly not "proud" of it....but there it is.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


When the future of the Democratic Party seemed so shaky in the early '90s that even I suggested we nominate George HW Bush for President and then just fight for the VP, Bill Clinton came along to blaze a different trail.

And with him came Paul Begalla and James Carville to help hone his campaign strategy and themes (remember "It's the Economy, Stupid"?) And Clinton became the most successful Dem on the national stage literally in a generation.

Now with the Party of the Working Man again in turnoil, The "ragin' cajun" has hit the nail directly on its head once again.

Bill Clinton's colorful campaign advisor has a new book that is saying much of what I have been saying about the problems with the democrats.

Paul Rodriguez of the conservative web site Newsmax.com has a really concise analysis of Carville's arguments and I highly recommend you look it over.

A few key items:
* Too many dems still think it's enough to just "hate the GOP"
* Democrats have a laundry list of issues and ideas, but not defining "narrative" that truly explains what they stand for
* Democrats should look at adopting a theme of "Progressive Patriotism", in Carville's words "wrap themselves in the flag...like the Republicans".
* Stop the "pillow fighting"....don't be swayed so much by power that you will do anything to keep it instead of fighting for change

There's much more, and it's just excellent thinking!

You've heard me say for years that my party is in disarray. We are truly the party of America and the party of the People, yet we have let the GOP define us and denigrate us and we have done little to help our own cause.

If only party leaders--or potential leaders--would listen to Carville and Begalla---again.


The holidays have begun.

It's my favorite time of year. Thanksgiving is here and that means family gatherings, turkey, and football. Then it's the wonderful Christmas Season.
As a Christian, I believe the "reason for the season" is to celebrate the birth of Christ. But I also know that the "season" is more than that. There is the "holiday season" that includes Santa, Rudolph, shopping, and parties. There's nothing wrong with that.

Which is why it doesn't bother me a bit when someone wishes me "Happy Holidays". It's a warm and wonderful time of the year and I hope they are indeed happy for us all.

When a store clerk says "Happy Holidays" after I buy something, they're really saying "thanks for buying". If they said "Merry Christmas", frankly, it would often be blasphemy. They wouldn't be making a heartfelt statement about the Birth of the Son of God. It is almost like taking the Lord's name in vain.

So, celebrate the season. Enjoy Jolly Old St. Nick. Trim a tree and have a cup of egg nog. Then make sure, if you're a Christian, you set aside time to thank God for the Gift of His Son.

Season's Greetings.

And Merry Christmas.

I mean it.


I Loved it when that curtain swept open.

He was one of the undisputed giants of television. Johnny Carson created a special type of late night party nearly every night for 30 years. Middle American charm, urbanity, wit, humor, humility all mixed together in Johnny. Carson's death at 79 sends me thinking about what we DON'T have on TV today.

Carson saw talent and gave it a chance to blossom for our enjoyment. "American Idol" takes talent and trashes it for entertainment.

Carson's monologues skewered any one who made mistakes and he did with a sly grin that softened the blows. We got the message, but heard the humor, too.
We learned about the personal side of our stars, Johnny didn't feel a need to dig into their personal lives.

And when Carson decided it was time to leave the stage, he did just so--he left the stage. An occasional comment to an interviewer was the most we got from the King after he retired. He lived the lesson he taught on his show: what matters is what's on stage; the rest remains personal.

America's Court Jester. The King of Late Night TV. The host we all went to bed with for 30 years. NBC's biggest earner. Husband to several, friend to so many more. The founding father of more comedy careers than I can remember.

He retired over a decade ago. He left us at last this weekend.

And I thought I heard "HEEEEEEEEEERRRRRREEEE'S Johnny" coming down from heaven last night.

The eternal monologue has begun


I don't understand the problem some law enforcement folks have with probable cause. If they have reason to believe that I am committing a crime, they can certainly get warrants and come investigate me.

In the case that led to this week's Supreme Court ruling, the cops said they felt that the "suspect"--who had been stopped for a traffic violation--was acting nervously and had used air freshener in his car, which made them suspicious. Which is why they brought in the drug sniffing dogs.

So why didn't they simply get a warrant? They, indeed, had "probable cause". I know a very specific example recently where a man was stopped for a traffic violation. Cops suspected drugs (they were right) and they told the guy: "you can let us search the car, admit to what you've got, or wait for an hour and we'll get a warrant." The guy admitted he had dope.

If certain judges are too tough in their determination of probable cause, then we should address THAT issue. With more clearly defined legal definitions or greater oversight of those judges.

But I don't want cops to be able to threaten me with dogs when there is no cause.
No one disputes that we need to more vigilant and aggressive in this post-9/11 world. But it is ENTIRELY possible to do so without violating civil rights.

I don't understand what's wrong with probable cause.