January 20, 2010

brown-win1 Somewhere down the line – it might be weeks, it might be months, hell, it might even be days – what happened tonight in Massachusetts will truly be understood. Right now all the talking heads on the cable channels are blathering about health care, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama and what he’ll say at his upcoming State of the Union address. That’s fine, of course. But in my mind there are some lessons to be drawn across the electorate from Scott Brown’s decisive victory over Martha Coakley in the special election for Ted Kennedy’s seat, and woe to those who turn a deaf ear:

1. As the late, great Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neil once stated, “all politics is local”. Whether Democrat or Republican, incumbent or not, if you want to represent the people in your districts come November you better start listening to the people. It is pocketbook issues people are concerned about, nothing else. I don’t think Brown’s election has as much to do with the Democrats health care plan, per se, as it does with the unrelenting focus and attention paid to it for months to the exclusion of what people truly care about out there: jobs, and the economy.

2. If the Democrats want to, as NPR’s Juan Williams so stated on Fox News tonight, “double down” on health care and ram it through because they either: a) truly believe people will like it once they see what’s in it (really), or b) they’ve got nothing left to lose, I say let them do it. If they do, there will be blood on the streets and precious few Democrats left standing come November. But you know what? I actually think Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are clueless, reckless, and stupid enough to try it. I’d love to see it, it would make for great political theater.

3. If I’m an incumbent, no matter what my stand on health care is, I’m thinking about alternative ways to spend the rest of my life. Brown’s election wasn’t about Democrats or Republicans, per se, it was about Washington and the sense of entitlement out there, the sense that no one inside the Beltway cares anything about what anyone outside it thinks, only about the expansion and consolidation of their own pocketbooks and political power, funded on the backs of people who work a hell of a lot harder for their pay than they will ever do.

obama

4. Make no mistake about it: in the end, this election, when you get right down to it, was about Barack Obama, his lack of leadership, and the state of political discourse in Washington. One year ago, “Mr. Hopenchange” was elected on his own promise of: a) “changing the way Washington works”, b) being “a uniter, not a divider”, and c) having “the most transparent administration in history”. People trusted him (I sure didn’t), believed him (ditto) and put their faith in him. So what have they received in return? A President who has abdicated his leadership to petty, partisan dolts like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. An administration that hasn’t uttered a word of complaint while allowing a bill that would radically transform the nation’s healthcare system – a full 1/6 of the nation’s economy – to be negotiated behind closed doors with senators and congressmen whoring themselves in return for their precious votes. A nation, as even the President himself admits, is more divided and polarized than when he took office. Unemployment above 10% and unprecedented reckless deficit spending. Not that he’ll listen, but Brown’s election should be a clarion call to President Obama that he, and we as a nation, can’t just spend and regulate our way out of this mess we’re in.

So now, after high-profile Democratic gubernatorial losses in Virginia and New Jersey, Scott Brown’s amazing upset in Massachusetts is Barack Obama’s Waterloo moment. A year ago, he was the the so-called “Messiah” who did nothing to downplay the adoration, unrealistic platitudes, and expectations tossed his way. Today, he’s 0-for-3 in political races where he campaigned actively for Democratic candidates in states he carried handily back in 2008. How he responds in the wake of this latest Democratic fiasco may very well seal the fate, for better or for worse, of his Presidency.

abba

So, congratulations to the people of Massachusetts – don’t know if this “Massachusetts miracle” is enough to kick-start another American revolution, but we conservatives will take any victory that places obstacles before Obama / Reid / Pelosi and their radical socialist agenda. There’s still a lot of hard work ahead and more incumbent parties to throw out of office, but we’ll take every victory we can get.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ll just pour myself another glass of Bolla Valpolicella and enjoy this video. Ahh yes, to be so young, vibrant, and, er, attractive. They must have felt like they had the whole world in the palms of their hands.

Just like Barack Obama did a little more than one year ago. What a difference fourteen months can make…

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Pool temp: 52 degrees!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:13 | Comments (6)
January 19, 2010

In less than 24 hours we’ll know whether or or not Republican Scott Brown has been able to pull off what would truly be a miracle, knocking off state Attorney General and entrenched Democrat party sock-puppet Martha Coakley in the special election for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat.

When you think about it, there’s absolutely no reason in the world why this should even be a race. After all, no one in the political world knew who the hell Scott Brown was two weeks ago, but you add equal parts an aloof, tone-deaf candidate, a health care reform bill that few in Massachusetts want (why would they, after all, they already have state-mandated health care?), and a fresh-faced candidate somehow able to plug in to the general unease everyone feels regarding the economy and what on God’s green earth the Democrats are doing with health care reform behind closed doors when they oughta be concerned about unemployment and ballooning deficit spending, and suddenly you have yourself a horse race for the Senate in one of the bluest of blue states.

Can Brown pull off an upset? I know what the some of the latest polls are saying, but having spent a great deal of my life in the Bay State, I know full well the way the Democratic Party establishment works there. They are powerful and a force not to be strifled with. Therefore, as much as I’d love-love-love to see a Brown win, I have a hunch Coakley’s going to find a way to pull it out by 2-3 points.

But don’t take it from me. Hell, I picked the Cowboys and the Chargers last weekend. I hope I’m wrong here – after all, this is a woman who is politically tone-deaf, ethically-challenged, and generally (some might say, criminally) incompetent in the way she has handled her office and role as Middlesex County DA and state Attorney General over the years – but any Republican in Massachusetts, no matter how much he or she might have the suppot of unenrolleds, has an uphill battle to be sure.

Just the fact that Brown is this close to pulling off an upset is a victory all in itself – after all, he has forced the Dems and their liberal fundraising establishment across the country to part with their precious brass to defend a seat they really should never have had to worry about, in an election year where Democratic incumbents are going to need all the financial help they can get.

If Coakley wins the Dems will let out a huge sigh of relief knowing they dodged themselves some serious lead; if Brown pulls off an upset, it will truly be a “Scott heard around the world”. Me, I’d love to see that.

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Pool temp: 51

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:21 | Comments (0)
January 18, 2010

tgws_mojito Here’s a picture taken Saturday on our patio. Consider this TGWS, weekend style. That’s a Barcardi Mojito right there in my hands. Want one just like the one I’m holding? Check this vid out:

A fantastic recipe. The only alteration I make is that I put a tad more simple syrup in – approx. 1/2-3/4 shot.

Like the funky “Boat Drinks” table? I thought it was pretty cool. We’re not huge Jimmy Buffett fans, but he sure has a lot of cool furniture and other doo-dads at his Margaritaville Key West store.

I’m smiling here because at this point my football pics for the weekend were all still good – the games hadn’t begin yet! I’m glad for Rob that his Saints beat the Cardinals, but couldn’t imagine the Dallas Cowboys being blown out by the Vikings like they were. Same thing with the Chargers-Jets game – don’t think too many people ever imagined that the J-E-T-S would ever beat those So-Cal dudes.

So it’s on to the conference finals. My pics (for what it’s worth)? Saints over Vikings, Colts over Jets.

Oh, if you want to live your dream of living next door to The Great White Shank, the house next to us is up for sale. You can find more info here. Believe me, you could do a lot worse!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:49 | Comments (3)
January 17, 2010

mcgwire I know it’s now old news, but I’ve been meaning to comment on slugger Mark McGwire’s tearful confession the other day about using steroids while a member of the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals. If McGwire truly believes that his jump from a 40-50 a year home run hitter to a 60-70 one had nothing to do with steroids, then denial is not, as they say, just a river in Egypt.

Note to Mr. McGwire: you may truly believe that your ability to increase your home run production was solely the results of improved hand-eye coordination, a carefully crafted shorter swing, and/or a general maturing as a hitter, but I would respectfully point out the following facts:

1. You say you took steroids because your body was breaking down and they enabled you to heal faster and play through entire seasons, but how could you have hit all those home runs if you hadn’t healed faster through steroids, hmm? Just this fact alone means your argument that steroids didn’t equate to increased home run production holds no water.

2. Isn’t it just possible that your improved hand-eye coordination came as a direct result of taking steroids?

3. Isn’t it just possible that without steroids a dozen or so of those home runs would have been warning-track outs or doubles?

I’m not saying McGwire is a bad person or someone who should be exiled to a Gulag or something. Personally, I have no problem putting Mark McGwire into the Hall of Fame. Steroids or not, his ability to hit that many home runs in a single 162-game season still stands as one amazing accomplishment. However, I would make sure his plaque, and those of other possible HOF-worthy players who played during baseball’s “Steroids Era” (i.e., Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, etc.), have their own little place in Cooperstown tucked away from those who earned their HOF status without the benefit of PEDs.

Pool temp: 51 degrees

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:19 | Comments (0)
January 16, 2010

About snakes: I don’t want to kill them either, but how can you not freak out when you hear about such thing as a “super snake” infesting the Florida Everglades?

About sharks: It’s awful, I guess – especially if you’re the victim or a surviving family member – but I can’t help being intrigued by stories like this. I can’t imagine what it would be like having a Great White Shark doing the “Jaws” thing on you (my boldings):

Witnesses have described their horror at seeing a tourist being eaten by a “gigantic” shark in South Africa’s most popular holiday destination.

Lloyd Skinner was pulled under the surf and dragged out to sea by the shark, believed to be a great white, off Fish Hoek beach in Cape Town. His diving goggles and a dark patch of blood were all that remained in the water.

“Holy shit. We just saw a gigantic shark eat what looked like a person in front of our house,” witness Gregg Coppen posted on Twitter. “That shark was huge. Like dinosaur huge.”

…Witnesses described the terrifying scene. The shark was “longer than a minibus”, Coppen told the Cape Times newspaper.

…Four rescue boats and a helicopter searched in vain for Skinner yesterday and resumed the hunt today. Ian Klopper, a spokesman for the National Sea Rescue Institute, said: “You can rule out any chance of finding him alive. Whether we find body parts, it’s very unlikely. We think the shark took everything.”

Wow. Nature just being its breathtaking self. And posted on Twitter, no less.

About football: My predictions this week are Cardinals over Saints (sorry Rob, I hope I’m wrong there), Chargers over Jets, Colts over Ravens, Cowboys over Vikings.

About that tight Coakley/Brown Senate race in Massachusetts: methinks Coakley still wins by a Kennedy nose, but for Coakley to accuse former Sox hurler and 2004 World Series hero Curt “bloody sock” Schilling of being a closet Yankees fan tells me she’s not just no sports fan nor a worthy candidate for the Senate, she’s as dumb as a stone as well.

About the Jay Leno / Conan O’Brien fiasco over at NBC: As I commented in kind over at Rob’s blog, to listen to either Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien is to realize just how great and a comedic genius Johnny Carson was.

I pretty much guarantee you’ll never hear a song written specifically about about Leno or O’Brien, but we’ll always have this legendary tune about “The King Of Late Night” by The Beach Boys. Every time I hear it, the grunting Moog bass makes me smile.

Pool temp: 50 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:38 | Comment (1)
January 15, 2010

…For a Friday morning. What a long work week it has been.

Meet the “ecobioball” golf ball – it dissolves over time once in water and feeds the fish! Hmm…a “green” golf ball; no thanks, The Great White Shank will stick to his orange Precept XP3s, at least for now.

One of my favorite bloggers, The Anchoress, is a one-stop shop for just heartbreaking updates from earthquake-ravaged Haiti. One of my favorite charities, Food For The Poor, is a wonderful way for anyone wishing to help to do so.

Gonna be quite a storm slamming the southeast then running up the Eastern Seaboard this coming weekend. Were this late summer we’d be talking about a major hurricane event.

Speaking of weather, last night we actually got a rare January thunderstorm. Some people near us received hail and some severe lighting strikes, but for us here it was just a dazzling electric display, some wonderful deep-rumbling thunder, and some much-needed rain. Looks like next week poses a real opportunity for some truly meaningful rain. Sure hope so.

Just a song before I go: A YouTube video of one of my all-time favorite Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks songs, “Silver Springs”. Enjoy!

Pool temp: 50 degrees!

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:45 | Comments (0)
January 14, 2010

In subject matter order…

This story hasn’t exploded yet, but it’s been on simmer for a long time. There’s a huge scandal brewing at the Justice Department about how U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office handled those civil rights lawyers who dared to bring action against those members of the Black Panthers intimidating and harrassing voters at a Philadelphia precint last November:

Attorney General’s staff ordered career lawyers, civil servants not political appointees, not to comply with legal subpoenas from the US Civil Rights Commission also llawful requests from Congressmen investigating this mysterious dropping of a voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panthers.

Then the AG has the career lawyers transferred.

I believe this is a story with legs and the state-run dino-media won’t be able to avoid it forever.

I’d like to think there’s a chance Martha Coakley could lose the election for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat next Tuesday, but you have to be realistic. This is, after all, Massachusetts, and the pols and their union cronies will do whatever it takes to put her over the top. This analysis tells you all you need to know just how uphill a battle Republican Scott Brown faces:

SEIU head Andy Stern, who we have noted is the most frequent visitor to the White House, has led his union’s furious fight for government-run health care.

In an interview last year, Stern said: “We try to use the power of persuasion first. If it doesn’t work, we use the persuasion of power.”

And you’re about to see that power put on full display.

Pat Robertson is a fool. Here’s an idea, Pat: go crawl back under the rock you came out of, you washed-up hateful old coot. Talk about giving Christianity a bad name…

This, from the man who promised “the most transparent administration in history” and who promised no less than eight times that he would have healthcare negotiations broadcast on C-SPAN. Guess not:

What was expected to be a morning meeting with the president on health care turned into all-day, intense negotiations with Democratic leaders trying to find compromise on differences over House and Senate health care bills…

Senior congressional Democratic sources told CNN that the White House is pushing them hard to move quickly to resolve differences on a broad range of issues. The president and his top aides are being more aggressive than ever before in trying to broker a deal…

Now that’s transparency foy you! The hubris on display by this President is positively jaw-dropping. Well, he did promise to change the way Washington worked. And how.

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Pool temp: 49 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:12 | Comments (0)
January 13, 2010

shimmering

Here’s a picture of our front yard I took with the Blackberry this afternoon. I thought it came out pretty cool.

The weather pattern looks to be changing next week, and the talk around here is we might be in for some substantial rains. One can only hope. For now, it’s just an endless stream of 70+ degree days filled with all the promise of spring and another long, hot summer. I’m sure the folks back East wouldn’t mind hearing that!

All is quiet in the house tonight. I have a big pot of Italian sauce on the stove, the rabbits (all seven of them) are shedding like crazy, and it seems the entire house is one great big furball. But this all seems pretty inconsequential.

Pray for the people in Haiti and please be prepared to open up your wallets. I know I will. We all just take so much in our lives for granted. I have a feeling the loss of life there is going to be catastrophic. Of course, the United States is ready, willing, and able to assist when most every other nation in the world could give a rat’s ass. But that’s what makes America great, and why I’m still proud of this country even when its elected leadership is nothing a bunch of corrupt and petty dolts hell-bent on destroying this country’s future just so President Obama has something to talk about of substance during his State of the Union message.

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Pool temp: 49 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:36 | Comments (0)
January 12, 2010

How’s this for your members of Congress treating your hard-earned tax dollars with respect? (Hat tip: Drudge)

Yeah, yeah, sure. I can only imagine what the outcry would be if a Republican said the very same things Harry Reid said.

…But of course, Democrats have a much better history when it comes to race relations, don’t they? I’ve written previously in this space how the only thing the liberal establishment – and Democrats in general – are interested in when it comes to the African-American community is their votes come election day. The rest of the year, the idea is to promote and protect the social-welfare state programs designed to keep them down on the plantation and quiet. It’s an absolute travesty, but I guess that’s why these so-called “compassionate liberals” never hasten to play the race card every chance they get.

Here’s an African-American who’s not afraid to speak the truth. Methinks this is a voice today’s African-American community needs to hear.

OK, I’m going out on a limb here: what would you call your President’s nominee to head the TSA if he were to equate the threat of global warming along the same lines as Islamic fundamentalists? Ill-advised? Stupid? Clueless? Absurd? I mean, Madre di Dios, where does this administration find these people? With unemployment running at 10 percent, I’ve got to think there are people out there with a few more brain cells to rub together than Errol Southers.

…oops, I should be more careful talking about Mr. Southers. After all, he is African-American, and not being the Senate Majority Leader (or, for that matter, a Democrat) I guess in this Obama “post-racial” climate that would qualify me as a racist. So be it. The Great White Shank always calls ’em as he sees ’em.

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Pool temp: 49 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:02 | Comments (0)
January 11, 2010

Finally got the Christmas tree down today. As much fun as it is to anticipate putting the tree up and delighting in its warm holiday glow, it’s always feels good to take it down and reclaim that part of the house for regular activity.

Last night we put a slew of Fleetwood Mac on the CD turntable: “Fleetwood Mac”, “Rumours”, “Tusk”, “Mirage”, and “Tango In The Night”. We were all bopping around to those classic sounds. The Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the Mac was a damned fine band for a lot of years.

Found out today that April 26th is the date I’ll be received into the Roman Catholic Church. Now there’s something to look forward to!

Boy, the New England Patriots looked like crap against the Baltimore Ravens today. And that Green Bay-Arizona game was wild. No one seemed to be able to play defense throughout that one.

I’m picking an Indianapolis / Dallas Super Bowl this year.

Over and out. Back to you, Fred.

———-

Pool temp: 49 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:42 | Comments (0)

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