Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween 2008Halloween 2008Halloween 2008Parker and Chris stopped by the office before we went out Trick-or-Treating, which have Parker a chance to take Bulls-Eye out for a ride. Rebecca loaned it to us for Parker to use with his costume but after some thought we figured it best that we leave it behind. With all the stuff that Parker had to focus on...and in the dark, we figured the last thing he need was an extra pair of legs to trip over.

Halloween 2008Halloween 2008Halloween 2008Halloween 2008
This year we hit up Andy and Page's neighborhood, which gave us a potty stop, if the need arose.

Being his 4th Halloween...and 3 year at Trick-or-Treating, Parker was an old pro -- hitting up houses and flirting with everyone who couldn't resist a cowboy (''Woody'' for those in the know).

The evening ended back at Andy and Page's, which gave us a chance to catch up, ending the night on a nice note.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

...and all in one clip...

  • Barack Obama
  • John Stewart
and yes the...

In case the video goes away, here's a transcript:
Jon Stewart: My guest tonight is a United States Senator representing the great state of Illinois. He is also the Democratic nominee for president. Joining us now via satellite from Sunrise, Florida, please welcome back to the program, Senator Barack Obama. Senator, nice to see you

Barack Obama: Hi, Jon.

Jon Stewart: How are you, sir? Hold on one second. I'm sorry. He's not actually here. He's on the satellite. Our audience very excited, sir. Clearly our show is not a swing show, if you will. Thank you so much for taking the time. How are you holding up? How are things going?

Barack Obama: You know, I'm doing great. We are now counting down every single day. And, you know, the crowds are terrific. And you know, I think we've got a good shot at this thing.

Jon Stewart: Where are you right now?

Barack Obama: I am in Fort Lauderdale, and we are going to have a rally tonight, and actually, we're going to go to Orlando. We have an 11:00 p.m. rally with William Jefferson Clinton which I think is going to be terrific.

Jon Stewart: William Jefferson Clinton and you in Florida. Now, I know Florida, many of my people go there to retire. You might want to hold the rally early. They don't like to miss their shows at night or the early-bird special at the diner. So, whatever you can....

Barack Obama: No comment on that, Jon. I'm trying to win Florida.

Jon Stewart: What a wise man. I thought that at this point, you would be doing sort of a four corners offense, playing kind of a delay game, but you really are going at it. Tell me about this half-hour special that aired earlier tonight. What is this?

Barack Obama: Well, this is the Obama infomercial. I'll tell you a quick story. We're buying time on a lot of the stations. I was describing this to Michelle and my daughters, and Malia who is ten, she said "Hold up a second. Are you saying my programs are going to be interrupted?" I said no we didn't buy on Disney. She was relieved, but for everybody else who wants to watch, they're going to have a chance to take a look at not just sort of a pitch for me but really what we try to do is tell a story about what's happening in families all across America. We've got four families that we feature. All of them have great hopes, but all of them are struggling too. We want to talk about what the next four years would mean for them.

Jon Stewart: Will it annoy us? Or will we like it? Afterwards, will we think, did he just sell me a Shamwow? What the hell just happened? Or will we feel comforted and, you know....

Barack Obama: I hope what people will come away with, I hope they'll say to themselves you know what? This election is really important. These families that have been featured remind me of either myself or people I that know. I hope they'll have a better sense of exactly what I want to do as president. That's all you can do. At this stage, everything that needs to be said has probably been heard by a lot of voters. What you want to do is remind them one more time. Here's what I'm going to do, not oversell, let people make up their minds. That's how democracy works.

Jon Stewart: So much of this has been about fear of you. An elitist, a celebrity, a Muslim terrorist sympathizer. A Socialist, a Marxist, a witch. That's right. They've been calling you a witch. They're saying if you do win, is that a mandate for Socialism in this country? Has any of this fear stuff, do you think it's stuff with the electorate? Are you finding that on the trail?

Barack Obama: You know, it just hasn't. I mean, I think, there's a certain segment of hard-core Sean Hannity fans that probably wouldn't want to go have a beer with me, there's no doubt about that. But I think for the average voter, they're saying to themselves, what's all this stuff about? I'm trying to figure out whether I can hang on to my house or who is going to help me get a job or what about my health care, my premiums have doubled over the last couple of years. So I don't think that they're paying too much attention to this stuff. And the whole Socialism argument that doesn't fly too well. The evidence of this seems pretty thin. I said today that I think they found proof that when I was in kindergarten I shared some toys with my friends. That's clearly a sign that of subversive activity now, I can tell you, Jon, that being on your program I think is further evidence of these tendencies.

Jon Stewart: (laughing). The polls have you up but then they keep talking about this Bradley Effect this idea that white voters when they go to the polls, they'll tell pollsters they're going to vote for an African-American but they won't actually do it.

Barack Obama: Yeah, they've been saying that for a while. We're still here. I don't know. I don't think white voters have gotten this memo about the Bradley Effect.

Jon Stewart: are you concerned in some respects, you know, and I don't even know how to bring this up. Obviously your mother is from Kansas. She's a white woman. Your father, African. Are you concerned that you may go into the voting booth and....

Barack Obama: I won't know what to do.

Jon Stewart: Your white half will all of a sudden decide, "I can't do this."

Barack Obama: That's a problem.

Jon Stewart: What is it?

Barack Obama: I said it's a problem.

Jon Stewart: (laughing).

Barack Obama: I've been going through therapy to make sure that I vote properly on the 4th.

Jon Stewart: I think that's wise. Are you, you know, you and Senator McCain have run such a tough race. Is it possible, do you think, in this day and age for you two to be, to like each other afterwards, to be collegial? Do you feel like you would offer him a spot in your administration or he would do the same for you? I mean, what's that relationship like now?

Barack Obama: Well, look, there's no doubt that it gets tense in the middle of a campaign. But I've said it before. I admire Senator McCain's service to our country. He is a genuine war hero. And, you know, I hope that after the election, however way it turns out, that we can work together because some of the problems we're talking about are ones that we're not going to be able to solve with one party just trying to dictate a solution to the problems. You look at something like global warming, that's really an "all hands on deck" kind of situation. If we don't get everybody on board, conservative hawks who are worried about us buying oil from the Middle East, tree huggers and environmentalists who are worried about, you know, the polar bears, bringing all those folks together and saying everybody's got a legitimate point of view. Let's figure out how to solve the problem. That's the kind of attitude we're going to need going forward.

Jon Stewart: With the kind of issues that face the country now.... (applause) oh, they're applauding. Very interesting. They're applauding a spirit of cooperation, which I actually find that to be a rather angry bitter group in this audience.

Barack Obama: Not very funny cooperation.

Jon Stewart: No, that's nice. Is there a sense that you have, you know, two years ago when you began this journey, the country was not necessarily in the shape it's in now. Is there a sense that you don't want this? (Obama laughs) you may look at the country and think, you know, when I thought I was going to get this it was a relatively new car. Now look at it!

Barack Obama: You know, I actually think this is the time to want to be president. If you went into public service thinking that you could have an impact, now is the time where you could have an impact. We tend to be a pretty conservative country. I don't mean conservative politically per se, but conservative in the sense that, you know, things are kind of going along pretty well and we don't want to mess with it too much. And then every once in a while you have these big challenges and big problems. It gives an opportunity for us to really move in a new direction. I think this is one of those moments on things like energy and health care and the economy and education where I think people recognize what we've been doing isn't working.

Jon Stewart: A serious moment.

Barack Obama: I think people will be more open to change.

Jon Stewart: Sir, we definitely appreciate you being on the program tonight. We know what a long haul it's been. You've certainly run a remarkable and historic race. I have great admiration for both you and Senator McCain, and I wish you well. Thank you so much for joining us.

Barack Obama: Great to be with you, Jon. Thank you.

Jon Stewart: Senator Barack Obama. We'll be right back.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mixed Like Me

I've been thinking about this for a while. With Barack Obama possibly being the first African-American president, people can't help but wonder how race would play in the election. Not to mention, Colin Powell's recent Obama endorsement being downplayed by some as just a black thing. This made me feel the need to clarify my feelings and thoughts about this issue.

I don't think I'm the only person who thinks this but when I see Obama, but I see myself -- someone who isn't easily identified with the race of my parents. (Which is even more the case with my married name.) When filling out forms and the question of race comes up, there is usually no one box to check, aside from ''Other''. (And I hate it when people ask you to choose one. WTF? Now I've got to choose which parent I most identify with to make your survey work?)

Some people see Obama highlighting his family as ''code'' for he isn't one of ''those'' black people. I see it as an opportunity to show others we all have a diverse backgrounds and family histories that makes us what we are and that surface judgments only perpetuate stereotypes.

Am I saying I'm color blind? No. I understand that we all have biases of varying degrees based on skin-color. I see difference in the way I'm treated verses my mother, who's Chinese. (Of course, not to be ignored, culture and generational perspectives also play a big role in those differences.) So when some people bring up Rev. Wright and the infamous ''God Damn America'' thing, I'm actually not offended. I get the anger. And, as an American, I support his right to let his opinion be known but again, I see this as people allowing their prejudices to color their perspective. What most people miss about the sermon was it's title, ''Confusing God and Government'' (Yes, this goes against McCain's ''Country First''), which asks parishioners to look to God, not country for solutions to your problems.
Here's the sermon if you want to hear it in it's entirety for yourself.

On a related note, NPR has been running an interested piece, The York Project: Race & The '08 Vote. Here are a few interesting quotes so far from the series...

I don't want to sound racist, and I'm not racist. But I feel if we put Obama in the White House, there will be chaos. I feel a lot of black people are going to feel it's payback time. And I made the statement, I said, 'You know, at one time the black man had to step off the sidewalk when a white person came down the sidewalk.' And I feel it's going to be somewhat reversed. I really feel it's going to get somewhat nasty.
If Obama loses the election, there will also be African-Americans who will not accept that result as legitimate.] I guarantee it. I think even the black people who weren't that involved would have that disenfranchised feeling of, 'We got so close, and now we didn't get it, and now I'm angry about it.'
The York voters then dissected Palin's claim that she is the voice for the ''Joe Six-Packs out there''; they wondered whom, exactly, she meant.

Mohammad Khan, an immigrant from Bangladesh, owns a diner with a giant American flag painted on the building. ''Joe Six-Pack is people just like me — work every day, pay their taxes. But she is not talking for me.''

Others said that Joe Six-Pack is a white man.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the election and what turmoil (if any) follows. Race does seem to have influence on what's being said and heard. However, it saddens me that it is so black and white. I wished more people thought of Obama as ''mixed like me.''

BTW, on a related note, I think the question, ''who is Joe Six-Pack?'' is interesting. The image that comes to my mind is some ass-hole and his buddies hootin' and hollerin' in a pick-up as an empty beer can is tossed from a window. Their tires squeal as they make a turn on to a small town main street a bit too fast. In the back window is a full gun rack and, streaming from the bed of the truck, is a gigantic American flag -- more of a symbol of dominance rather than patriotism. Who do you imagine when you hear the phrase ''Joe Six-Pack?''

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Piper: Week 26

081023_PiperUltrasound01081023_PiperUltrasound03081023_PiperUltrasound02So I guess I left some of you hanging there regarding the amnio results.

Sorry about that.

A couple of weeks after the prelim, we got the full results and everything is fine. While it's not guarantee that there will not be any problems, it is a pretty good sign.

We saw the ultrasound doctor today and Piper seems to be doing fine. She's 2lb, 6oz and healthy. Her kidneys still look a bit inflamed but, especially with the recent amnio test, the doctor feels this should clear up as soon as she's born and her body has a chance to function on it's own.

According to my baby development emails, her ears are more developed so she can hear conversations that I'm having with people. (So mind the P's and Q's!)

The email also says she's a pound and two thirds, so she appears to be a bigger than average girl at this point, which may explain why I feel like I'm hitting the ''fat'' clothes faster in this pregnancy. I mean, there are prego clothes and then there are the pants. You know the ones I'm talking about -- with the big window of elastic in the front. I don't think I had to resort to that fashion embarrassment until the last month or two of my pregnancy with Parker. But with Piper, my waistbands have been feeling a bit restrictive and, for comfort's sake, I'm going to have to soon face the humiliation.

I also realized today that my wedding ring is feeling tight so I've taken that off before it's too late.

Of course, if I turn purple, then I guess we can blame it on some candy that I've eaten, rather than the pregnancy. And you can start calling me Violet Beauregard.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Class Pictures

080925_ParkerSchoolPicParker's school pictures came in and look who's Momma's little angel?

Of course, his class pictures tell a different story...
080925_ParkerClassPicCan you guess who got the most laughs off his class picture pose? Makes one think twice when someone says they've been a good boy today.

All The Mavericks in the House

Yeah, I had to put my hands up because Palin did well on SNL. Both in the Opening and in the Weekend Update. (She even threw in a good natured ''You Betcha.'')

Check it out yourself...

Here's the opening...

JASON SUDEIKIS -- "Good evening, I'm Tim Lydecker Sarah Palin's spokesman and we're very excited to be holding the Governor's first official press conference. Now tonight, nothing is off-limits while at the same time, I urge you guys to 'be cool.' Seriously guys just be cool. And one last thing: no recording devices and don't write anything down."

(Gathered "reporters" react)

SUDEIKIS -- "Worth a shot. Can't blame me for trying. Without further ado, I present Governor Sarah Palin."


FEY AS GOV. PALIN –-- "First off, I just want to say how excited I am to be in front of both the liberal elite media as well as the liberal regular media. I am lookin' forward to a portion of your questions, so let's get started. Yes, you?"

FRED ARMISEN (as reporter) -- "What were your thoughts on Senator McCain's debate performance Wednesday?"

FEY AS GOV. PALIN -- You know, I just thought he was great. Because the American people are angry. And John McCain is angry too. And you can tell he's angry by the way he sighs and grits his teeth and he's always goin' like (MAKES FACE AND GROWLING NOISE). And that Barack Obama? Well if he's angry, I certainly can't tell. His voice is smooth and when he's talkin' it's like an angel whispering in your ear. He makes John McCain sound like a garbage truck unloading trash at a landfill. So to answer your question, yes, I think John McCain did great. You guy?

WILL FORTE (as reporter) -- "At a rally in North Carolina this week you said that you like to visit the quote pro-America parts of the country. Are there parts of the country that you consider un-American?

FEY AS GOV. PALIN -- Y'know , that was just my lame attempt at a joke. But um, yes – New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware and California (SHE GIVES A THUMBS DOWN). But then also too you have states like Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida which could be real real anti-American or real real pro-American. It's up to them. (SHE winks) And now I'd like to entertain everybody with some fancy pageant walkin.'

(CUT TO: "SNL" Executive Producer LORNE MICHAELS and the real GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN standing next to a monitor watching the scene)

MICHAELS -- "I really wish that that had been you."

GOV. PALIN -- "Well, Lorne, you know, I just didn't think it was a realistic depiction of how one of my press conferences woulda gone."

MICHAELS -- "Yes, but it's obviously it's a heightened reality."

GOV. PALIN -- "Why couldn't we do the '30 Rock' sketch I wrote?"

MICHAELS -- "Honestly, not enough people know that show."


WAHLBERG -- "Hey, Lorne?"

MICHAELS -- "Mark!"

WAHLBERG -- I'm looking for Andy Samberg. Where is he?"

MICHAELS -- "Mark, that was all in good fun."

WAHLBERG -- "Are you gonna make me bust your head open too? Because I will. Where is he?"

MICHAELS -- "Third dressing room on the left."

MW -- Thank you

(WAHLBERG storms off)

MICHAELS -- He didn't like the impression we did of him on the show.

GOV. PALIN -- "Tell me about it."


BALDWIN -- "Hey Lorne. Hey, Tina. Lorne, I need to talk to you. You can't let Tina go out there with that woman. She goes against everything we stand for. I mean, good Lord, Lorne, they call her…what's that name they call her? Cari … Cari -- what do they call her again, Tina?"

GOV. PALIN -- "That'd be Caribou Barbie."

BALDWIN -- "Caribou Barbie. Thank you, Tina. I mean this is the most important election in our nation's history. And you want her, our Tina, to go out there and stand there with that horrible woman. What do you have to say for yourself?"

MICHAELS -- "Alec, this is Governor Palin."

GOV. PALIN -- "Hi there."

BALDWIN -- "I see. Forgive me, but I feel I must say this -- you are way hotter in person."

GOV. PALIN -- "Why thank you."

BALDWIN -- "I mean, seriously. I can't believe they let her play you."

GOV. PALIN -- "Thank you, and I must say that your brother Stephen is my favorite Baldwin brother."

BALDWIN -- "You are a delight. Now come, let me take you for a tour of the studio. You know, I've hosted the show … how many times, Lorne?"

LM -- 175 times.

(THEY walk away, the scene cuts back to the press conference)

FEY AS GOV. PALIN -- "To answer your question – y'know I don't worry about the polls. Polls are just a fancy way of systematically predicting what's gonna happen. The only pole I care about is the North Pole and that is melting…it's not great.

(BALDWIN walks on stage and whispers in FEY's ear)

FEY AS SELF -- "What? The real one? Byeee!"

(FEY walks off stage, passing PALIN as she exits)

GOV. PALIN -- "Thank you. Now I'm not gonna take any of your questions but I do want to take this opportunity to say Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!!!"

Here's Weekend Update...

MEYERS – "And now, here to clear up some misconceptions about her campaign, Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin."

GOV. SARAH PALIN – "Thank you Seth, Amy. And thank you for the chance to come out here. But I've been thinking it over and I'm not going to do the piece we rehearsed."

MEYERS – "But you were so good at it."

GOV. PALIN – "I know. It was really fun. But my gut is telling me this is a bad idea for the campaign."

MEYERS – "Are you sure?"

GOV. PALIN – "Yes, after a lot of thought. I think it might just cross the line."

MEYERS – "Ok, well…in that case, Amy, do you want to do Governor Palin's part instead, Amy?"

POEHLER – "I guess I could give it a try…"

MEYERS – "Do you remember it?"

POEHLER – "I kinda remember it … (IN HARDCORE RAP DEMEANOR) 1. 2. 3…"

(A Beat kicks in)






(The camera cuts away to Meyers and Gov. Palin enjoying themselves)
(JASON SUDEIKIS enters as TODD PALIN and stands next to POEHLER)












Everybody party, we GOING ON A HUNT


MEYERS – "I think you made the right decision not to do that."

GOV. PALIN – "You betcha."

And while we're on the subject of good natured people, here's Mark Walberg's bit on SNL...what's that all about? Say hi to your mother from me. And your stepmother.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Schwing Vote

So Joe the Plumber came up in Thursday's Daily Show...

And of course of all things for Parker to pick, it's this...

I wonder what his daycare teachers are thinking as I'm sure he's performing the tune at school. At least Parker's rendition is pretty innocent sounding.

Political Roast

I heard McCain and Obama's speeches at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner driving in to work yesterday and was surprised by how genuinely funny. (Okay, they have funny speech writers.) More importantly, it give me hope that this bitter campaign may end civilly. Check it out.

PART 1 (McCain's Speech, part A):

PART 2 (McCain's Speech, part B):

PART 3 (Obama's Speech, part A):

PART 4 (Obama's Speech, part B):

PS: Speaking of my mom, yes...she also emailed these links to me -- ''I happened to catch some of the fun raising event last night. They both were funny. Listen to the video.'' Who knew she read Mo Rocca's blog?

In case the video goes away, here are transcripts of the speeches:

JOHN MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Your Excellency and Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson, Senators Schumer and Clinton, Senator Obama, Al and Nan Smith, thank you, all, for the warm welcome. It's a privilege to be with all of you for the 63rd anniversary dinner of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation. And this is a very distinguished and influential audience and as good a place as any to make a major announcement.

Events are moving fast in my campaign. And yes, it's true that this morning I've dismissed my entire team of senior advisers. All of their positions will now be held by a man named Joe the Plumber.

Already, my friends, my opponents have been subjecting Joe to their vicious attack machine. His veracity has been questioned by Barack Obama's running mate, Joe the Six-Term Senator. He claims that this honest, hard-working, small-business man could not possibly have enough income to face a tax increase under the Obama plan. What they don't know -- what they don't know -- is that Joe the Plumber recently signed a very lucrative contract with a wealthy couple to handle all the work on all seven of their houses!

This campaign needed the common touch of a working man. After all, it began so long ago with the heralded arrival of a man known to Oprah Winfrey as "The One." Being a friend and colleague of Barack, I just called him "that one." My friends, he doesn't mind at all. In fact, he even has a pet name for me -- George Bush.

It's been that kind of contest, and I come here tonight to the Al Smith dinner knowing that I'm the underdog in these final weeks. But if you know where to look, there are signs of hope. There are signs of hope, even in the most unexpected places, even in this room full of proud Manhattan Democrats. I can't shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for me.

I'm delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary. Where's Bill, by the way? Can't he take one night off from his tireless quest to make the man who defeated his wife the next president?

The man is a relentless advocate for the Obama campaign, and he has a subtle approach to making the case. When a reporter asked him if Senator Obama was qualified to be president, Bill Clinton pointed out, sure, he's over 35 years of age and a U.S. citizen. He was pandering to the strict constructionist crowd!

He's also been hammering away at me with epithets like "American hero" and "great man." And with all the cameras running, he warmly embraced me at that global initiative of his. My friends, this is nothing but a brazen attempt to suppress turnout among anti-Clinton conservatives!

Finally, when Larry King asked President Clinton a few weeks ago, what was the delay, why he wasn't out there on the trail for Barack, Bill said his hands were tied until the end of the Jewish high holidays. Now, you gotta admire that ecumenical spirit. I just know Bill would like to be out there now stumping for Barack until the last hour of the last day. Unfortunately, he is constrained by his respect for any voters who might be observing the Zoroastrian New Year.

You know, some advocates for Senator Obama are less restrained in their enthusiasm, even in the media. All right, he usually is at table 228, for example, was my old friend and green-room pal Chris Matthews. He used to like me but he found somebody new, somebody who opened his eyes, somebody who gave him a thrill up his leg. And we've talked about it. I told him, maverick I can do, but messiah is above my pay grade.

You know, it's going to be a long, long night at MSNBC if I manage to pull this thing off. For starters, I understand that Keith Olbermann has ordered up his very own "mission accomplished" banner. And they can hang that in whatever padded room has been reserved for him.

Seriously, Chris, if they need any decorating advice on that banner, ask Keith to call me so I can tell him right where to put it.

So, you know, I have fun with the media, and we all know the press is really an independent, civic-minded and nonpartisan group -- like ACORN. In case you haven't been following my opponent's get-out-the-vote campaign, ACORN is helping to register groups previously excluded, overlooked and underserved -- second graders -- the deceased -- Disney characters. In Florida, they even turned up an ACORN voter registration form that bore the name of one Mickey Mouse. We're checking the paw prints. Although I might let that one go, I'm pretty sure the big rat's a Republican.

Anyway, we all know that Senator Obama is ready for any contingency, even the possibility of a sudden and dramatic market rebound. I'm told that at the first sign of recovery, he will suspend his campaign and fly immediately to Washington to address this crisis!

All this will be for the voters to decide very soon. And though I do trust we can keep the turnout amongst the deceased and fictional voters to a minimum, I've come out on both sides of elections. And I've never lost my confidence in the judgment of the American people. In the military, they work pretty hard to impress the chain of command on your way of thinking. And one way or another, on the 4th of November, word will come down from the top of the chain, and Senator Obama and I will both receive our orders.

I don't want it getting out of this room, but my opponent is an impressive fellow in many ways. Political opponents can have little trouble seeing the best in each other. But I've had a few glimpses of this man at his best. And I admire his great skill, energy and determination. It's not for nothing that he's inspired so many folks in his own party and beyond.

Senator Obama talks about making history, and he's made quite a bit of it already. There was a time when a mere invitation of an African-American citizen to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage and an insult in many quarters. Today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. And good riddance! I can't wish my opponent luck, but I do wish him well.

Whatever the outcome next month, Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country, and I congratulate him.

In his own day, Governor Al Smith achieved great things as well and traveled a harder path than most any presidential candidate before or since. America will always remember the boy born in an old tenement on South Street in Brooklyn who was four times elected governor of this state, and the news boy and fish monger who went to St. James parochial school and, at his death, received an apostolic benediction from the Pope himself.

At the Al Smith Foundation and at the New York Archdiocese, you're carrying on the spirit and work of this good man with your service to the poor, your comfort for the sick and needy, your belief in the dignity of life, especially your gallant defense of the rights of the unborn. I'm proud to count myself as your friend and ally.

With that, my friends, let me make way for my opponent, who tonight is making a comedy debut that I guess we could call the final test of this campaign. Now, a copy of the senator's comedy routine was left on the table this evening.

And I have to confess, Your Eminence, I looked at it.

Now, of course, it would be unfair and even a little unkind to put my opponent on the spot before he gets up here or to throw him off his game with unreasonably high expectations. But I do need to warn you, ladies and gentlemen, you all are about to witness the funniest performance -- in the 63-year history of this event! Let's not add to the mounting pressure he must be feeling. Just prepare yourself for non-stop hilarity, the funniest 15 minutes of your life or any other. I think he knows that anything short of that would mar the evening, insult our hosts -- and perhaps even cost him several swing states.

Senator Obama, the microphone is all yours!

BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you to Al and to Ann, to your Eminence, to governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg, to Senator and Mrs. McCain, to my wonderful colleagues, Senators Clinton and Schumer, to all the distinguished guests, there is no other crowd in America that I'd rather be palling around with right now. I'm sorry he couldn't be here. I do send regards to my running mate, Joe Biden, or as Senator McCain has noted he now actually likes to be called Joe the Senator.

I was thrilled to get this invitation, and I feel right at home here because it's often been said that I share the politics of Alfred E. Smith and the ears of Alfred E. Newman. But I have to say tonight's venue isn't really what I'm used to. I was originally told we'd be able to move this outdoors to Yankee stadium, and -- can somebody tell me what happened to the Greek columns that I requested? I do love the Waldorf-Astoria, though. You know, I hear that from the doorstep you can see all the way to the Russian tearoom. It is an honor to be here with Al Smith. I obviously never knew your great grandfather, but from everything that Senator McCain has told me, the two of them had a great time together before prohibition. So, wonderful stories.

The mayor of this great city, Michael Bloomberg, is here. the mayor recently announced some news -- made some news by announcing he's going to be rewriting the rules and running for a third term, which caused Bill Clinton to say, "you can do that?" The President's better half, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, is here. Glad to see you made it, Hillary. I'm glad to see that you made it because I heard Chuck Schumer actually tried to tell you that we really did move this event to Yankee stadium. But I'll tell you all from personal experience, Hillary Clinton is one of the toughest and most formidable presidential candidates in history. She's broken barriers. She's inspired millions. She is the -- she is the primary reason I have all this gray in my hair now.

I am also glad to see that Senator Schumer is here, and I see that he's brought some of his loved ones. Those would be the folks with the cameras and to notebooks in the back of the room. Of course, I am especially honored to be here tonight with my distinguished opponent, Senator John McCain. I think it is a tribute to American democracy that with two weeks left in a hard-fought election, the two of us could come together and sit down at the same dinner table without preconditions. Recently, one of John's top advisers told the ''Daily News'' that if we keep talking about the economy, McCain's going to lose. So, tonight I'd like to talk about the economy.

Given all that's happened these past few weeks on Wall Street, it feels like an odd time to be dressed up in white tie, but I must say I got a great deal, rented the whole outfit from the Treasury department at a very good price. Looking around tonight at all the gourmet food and champagne, it's clear that no expenses were spared. It's like an executive sale meeting at AIG. But I don't need to tell any of you that it's been a scary time on the stock market with people losing their investments, their entire fortunes. It's gotten so bad Bloomberg now has to take the subway. And while the collapse of the housing market's been tough on every single home owner, I think we all need to recognize that this crisis has been eight times harder on John McCain.

You know, we've been debating a lot of these economic issues over the course of the campaign, but lately things have been getting a bit tougher. In the last few weeks, John's been out on the campaign trail and asked the question, who is Barack Obama? Now I have to admit I was a little surprised by this question. The answer is right there on my Facebook page. But, look, I don't want to be coy about this. We're a couple weeks from an important election. Americans have a big choice to make, and if anybody feels like they don't know me by now, let me try to give you some answers. Who is Barack Obama? Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jor El to save the planet Earth. Many of you -- many of you know that I got my name, Barack, from my father. What you may not know is that Barack is actually Swahili for 'that one'. And I got my middle name from somebody who obviously didn't think I'd ever run for President. If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it's possible that I'm a little too awesome. One other thing, I have never, not once, put lipstick on a pig or a pit bull or myself. Rudy Giuliani, that's one for you. I mean -- who would have thought that a cross-dressing mayor from New York City would have a tough time running the republican nomination?

It's shocking. That was a tough primary you had there, John. Anyway, anyway, that's who I really am. But in the spirit of full disclosure, there are a few October surprises you'll be finding out about in the coming weeks. First of all, my middle name is not what you think. It's actually Steve. That's right. Barack Steve Obama. Here's another revelation -- John McCain is on to something.

There was a point in my life when I started palling around with a pretty ugly crowd. I've got to be honest. These guys were serious deadbeats. They were lowlifes, they were unrepentant, no-good punks. That's right. I've been a member of the United States Senate. Come to think of it, John, I swear I saw you at one of our meetings.

But I know senator McCain agrees that some of the rumors out there are getting a bit crazy. I mean, Rupert the other day, Fox news actually accused me of fathering two african-american children in wedlock. By the way, John, I'm just curious is Fox news included in the media? Because I'm always hearing about this love. Just curious. Then at one of these campaign rallies, someone in the crowd started yelling, "no-bama," announcing to everyone in the room that I shouldn't be the democratic nominee because there were far more qualified candidates. I really wish Joe Biden hadn't done that.

But at least we've moved past the days when the main criticism coming from the McCain campaign was that I'm some celebrity. I have to admit that that really hurt. I got so angry about it I punched the paparazzi in the face on my way out of Spiago's. I'm serious. I even spilled my soy chai latte all over my shih tzu. It was really embarrassing.

But in all seriousness, I'm so glad that I could make it tonight, and I'm honored to be among such wonderful public servants. I want to especially say a word of thanks to senator McCain. We are in the midst of a tough battle right now, and American politics at the presidential level is always tough, but I've said before, and I think it bears repeating, that there are very few of us who have served this country with the same dedication and honor and distinction as senator McCain, and I'm glad to be sharing this space with him tonight, as I am during the course of this nomination.

And before I close, I'd like to recognize one such servant not with us tonight, and that's our good friend, Tim Russert. I know that Luke and Maureen are here and I know that Tim enjoyed these dinners very much, and I also know how much he would have enjoyed covering this election.

And I know that John and I would have been quaking in our boots preparing for our appearances on "Meet the Press." And his absence is not just a personal loss for so many who knew and loved him but a profound loss for the country, and we continue to miss him very much.

You know -- the fact that each October in the closing weeks of a hard-fought campaign, people of all political persuasions can come to this dinner and share a meal and honor the work of this foundation underscores the reality that no matter what differences or divisions or arguments we're having right now, we ultimately belong to something bigger and more lasting than a political party. We belong to a community. We share a country. We are all children of God. And in this country, there are millions of fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters, who need us very much, especially now. We are being battered by a very serious economic storm, and for many Americans it's only deepened the quiet storms they've been struggling through for years.

Beyond the walls of this hotel, on the streets of one of the greatest cities in the wealthiest nation on earth, there are men and women and children who have fallen on hard times and hard luck, who can't find work, or even a job that pays enough to keep a roof over their heads. Some are hanging on just by a thread. Scripture says God creates us for works of service. We are blessed to have so many organizations like this one and the Catholic Diocese that perform these acts of God every day. But each of us also has that responsibility. Each of us has that obligation, especially now. No matter who we are or what we do, what I believe each of us in this room asks for and hopes for and prays for enough strength and wisdom to do good and to seek justice and play our small part in building a more hopeful and compassionate worlds for the generations that will follow.

Before Al Smith was a candidate who made history, he was a man who made a difference, a man who fought for many years to give Americans nothing more than a fair shake and a chance to succeed. And he touched the lives of hundreds of thousands -- of millions as a result. Simply put, he helped people. That's a distinction we can all aspire to, that we can all achieve, young or old, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican or independent. And I have no doubt that if we come together at this moment of crisis with this goal in mind, America will meet this challenge and weather this storm, and, in the words of Al Smith, ''walk once more in eternal sunshine.''

Thank you so much, everybody. God bless you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama-Mama Supreme

I know I've labeled myself as an Obama-Mama, but the real Obama-Mama would have to be my mom.

Now, I first have to set this mom is a clipper. An article clipper. There has always been a newspaper in our house and from those papers my mom has clipped articles of interest. Most are saved but other, especially those that pertain to one or more (which requires photocopying) of her kids, will get mailed. My favorite was a copy of Parade magazine that featured Rick (aka Ricky) Schroeder when he started on NYPD Blue. It was sent to me because I loved him as a kid (even took the trouble to write away for a back issue of Dynamite magazine -- did I just date myself? -- because he was on the cover). Of course, in case I had forgotten about that childhood crush, my mom added a post-it to the cover, ''Remember him?'' Uh, yeah, Mom! Anyway, I thought it was really sweet that my mom took the time to harass about it, let alone spend $$ on the stamp.

However, with the internet and ''free'' news, she has become the virtual clipper and on just about a daily basis I (actually, all the kids) get forwarded articles. Her two favorite sources seem to be The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Her favorite topic of late (actually, all year)...the upcoming election. Here are some choice forwards...

BTW, not sure if it's evident but my mom is a registered Republican.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where has he been hiding?

This is the McCain that I use to admire. Willing to stand up and say what was right. Not just go along with an angry mob and ride an easy wave of anger, fear, and racism. Of course, has this McCain returned to the scene too late?

After the debates, people criticized Obama for being too complementary of McCain. However, I think of it as being diplomatic. If you can't find good points in your opponent's statements, you can't find middle ground for compromise and, in this day and age, we need someone to bring us together. Not someone who's going to lean on our fears of "the other" to pry this nation apart.

In case the video goes away, here's an article that covers the gist of the video from The Huffington Post...

John McCain was booed by his own supporters during a rally on Friday after he described Barack Obama as a ''decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States.''

McCain was responding to a town hall attendee who claimed he was concerned about raising a child under a president who ''cohorts with domestic terrorists such as [Bill] Ayers.'' Despite the fact that McCain and his campaign have repeatedly used Ayers to hammer Obama in recent days, the Arizona Senator tried to calm the man.

''[Senator Obama] is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States,'' he said, before adding: ''If I didn't think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn't be running.''

The crowd groaned with disapproval.

Later, McCain was again pressed about Obama's ''other-ness'' and again he refused to play ball. ''I don't trust Obama,'' a woman said. ''I have read about him. He's an Arab.''

''No, ma'am,'' McCain said several times, shaking his head in disagreement. ''He's a decent, family man, [a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about.''

At another point, McCain declared, ''If you want a fight, we will fight. But we will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments.'' Supporters booed then also. ''I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity,'' McCain responded. ''I just mean to say you have to be respectful.''

You can read more here.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Construction Supervisor

Construction SupervisorConstruction SupervisorConstruction SupervisorConstruction Supervisor
Construction SupervisorConstruction SupervisorChris was working on this year's Xmas present -- completing the two sheds that have been in the works for a while (and thus allowing me to finally get rid of the ugly storage container that I've been renting -- notice the ugly white metal thing in the background) -- but Parker felt it necessary to haul down his tools and put in his two cents. In the end, he had to show Daddy how it's suppose to be done.

Train Metaphor

In case you missed this on Daily Kos...

Yup. I think that just about sums it all up.

To All You Joe Six-Packs


Dude. I think I tunned out before the talent portion of the debate. That's a shame. :o)

Interesting. People thought Tina Fey would have a hard time spoofing Palin this week. Whelp...this sketch's success looked pretty effortless. Great Job SNL!

In case the video goes away, there the transcript...

QUEEN LATIFAH AS GWEN IFILL: "Good evening, I'm Gwen Ifill and welcome to Washington University in St. Louis Missouri to the first and only 2008 Vice Presidential Debate between the Republican nominee, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, and the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden of Delaware. Let's welcome the candidates."

TINA FEY AS GOV. SARAH PALIN: "Can I call you, 'Joe?'"


FEY AS PALIN: "OK, 'cause I practiced a couple of zingers where I call you Joe."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Now tonight's discussion will cover a wide range of topics including domestic and foreign policy matters. Each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to a direct question and then an additional two minutes for rebuttal and follow-up. As moderator, I will not ask any follow-up questions beyond 'do you agree?' or 'your response?' so as not to appear biased for Barack Obama in light of my new book (holding up book) 'The Breakthrough: Politics of Race in the Age of Obama,' coming out on inauguration day and available for pre-order on And finally, we would like to remind our audience that due to the historically low expectations for Governor Palin, were she simply to do an adequate job tonight, and at no point cry, faint, run out of the building or vomit you should consider the debate a tie. Alright, let's begin. Senator Biden, how, as Vice President would you work to shrink the gap of polarization that has sprung up in Washington?

SUDEIKIS AS BIDEN: "Well, I would do what I have done my whole career, whether it's been dealing with violence against women or putting 100,000 police officers in the streets. I would reach across the aisle. Like I've done with so many members of the other party. Members like John McCain. Because look, I love John McCain. He is one of my dearest friends. But at the same time, he's also dangerously unbalanced. I mean, let's be frank, John McCain -- and again, this is a man I would take a bullet for -- is bad at his job and mentally unstable. As my mother would say, 'God love him, but he's a raging maniac...' and a dear, dear friend."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Governor Palin. How will your administration deal with the current financial crisis?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Well first of all, let me say how nice it is to meet Joe Biden. And may I say, up close your hair plugs don't look nearly as bad as everyone says. You know, John McCain and I, we're a couple of mavericks. And gosh darnit, we're gonna take that maverick energy right to Washington and we're gonna use it to fix this financial crisis and everything else that's plaguin' this great country of ours."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "How will you solve the financial crisis by being a maverick?"

FEY AS PALIN: "You know we're gonna take every aspect of the crisis and look at it and then we're gonna ask ourselves, 'what would a maverick do in this situation?' And then, you know, we'll do that." (SHE winks.)

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Senator Biden, how would your administration address the current financial crisis?"

SUDEIKIS AS BIDEN: "Barack Obama and I understand that we need to regulate Wall Street. John McCain voted against Wall Street regulation 41 times. Let me repeat that. 41 times! And again, this is a man I love. If I had to spend the rest of my life on a desert island with only one other person it would be John McCain -- no doubt about it. I mean, you should see the way my face lights up when he walks into a room. But the fact is, John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time, let me say that again: time."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Governor Palin, would you like to respond to Senator Biden's comments about Senator McCain?"

FEY AS PALIN: "No thank you, but I would like to talk about bein' an outsider. You see while Senator Biden has been in Washington all these years I've been with regular people. Hockey moms and Joe Six-packs I'd also like to give a shout out to the third graders of Gladys Woods Elementary who were so helpful to me in my debate prep. Also too, you see, I think a bit differently from an insider. I don't think it's patriotic to pay more taxes. I don't think it's patriotic to criticize these wars we got goin' on. I do think it's patriotic to tell the government, 'Hey get outta my way! Stop tryin' to impose on my right to shoot wolves from a helicopter.' But a Washington insider like Joe Biden probably disagrees."

SUDEIKIS AS BIDEN: "You know I get a little tired of being told I'm an insider. I come from Scranton, Pennsylvania and that's as hardscrabble a place as you're gonna find. I'll show you around some time and you'll see. It's a hellhole. An absolute jerkwater of a town. You couldn't stand to spend a weekend there. It is just an awful, awful sad place filled with sad desperate people with no ambition. Nobody, and I mean nobody, but me has ever come out of that place. It's a genetic cesspool. So don't be telling me that I'm part of the Washington elite because I come from the absolute worst place on Earth: Scranton, Pennsylvania. And Wilmington, Delaware is not much better."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Senator Palin. Address your position on global warming and whether you think it's man-made or not."

FEY AS PALIN: "Gwen, we don't know if this climate change hoozie-what's-it is man-made or if it's just a natural part of the 'End of Days.' But I'm not gonna talk about that I would like to talk about taxes, because with Barack Obama, you're gonna be paying higher taxes. But not with me and my fellow maverick. We are not afraid to get maverick-y in there and ruffle feathers and not got to allow that. And also, too, the great Ronald Reagan."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "The next question is for you, Senator Biden. Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?"

SUDEIKIS AS BIDEN: "I do. In an Obama-Biden administration same-sex couples would be guaranteed the same property rights, rights to insurance, and rights of ownership as heterosexual couples. There will be no distinction. I repeat, no distinction."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "So to clarify, do you support gay marriage, Senator Biden?"

SUDEIKIS AS BIDEN: "Absolutely not. But I do think they should be allowed to visit one another in the hospital and in a lot of ways, that's just as good, if not better."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Governor Palin. Would you extend same-sex rights to the entire country?"

FEY AS PALIN: "You know I would be afraid of where that would lead. I believe marriage is meant to be a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers. But don't think I don't tolerate gay people. Because I do. I tolerate them with all my heart. And I know quite a few too. Not personally. But I know of them. I've seen 'Ellen.' Oh, and there was this one girl on my college basketball team. She wasn't officially 'a gay,' but, you know, we were pretty sure."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Governor Palin, what is your position on Healthcare regulation?"

FEY AS PALIN: "I'm gonna ignore that question and instead talk about Israel. I love Israel so much. Bless its heart. There's a special place for Israel in heaven. And I know some people are going to say I'm only saying that to pander to Florida voters, but from a very young age, my two greatest loves were always Jews and Cuban food."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "I would now like to give each of you a chance to make a closing statement."

FEY AS PALIN: : (holding flute): Oh, are we not doing the talent portion?

(FEY AS PALIN plays flute, winks)

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Senator Biden, your closing statement?"

SUDEIKIS AS BIDEN: "My goal tonight was a simple one. To come up here and at no point seem like a condescending, egomaniacal bully, and I'm gonna be honest, I think I nailed it. Sure there were moments when I wanted to say, 'Hey, this lady is a dummy!' But I didn't. Because Joe Biden is better than that. I repeat Joe Biden is better than that (pointing at FEY/PALIN). So to all of the pundits who said I would seem cocky or arrogant. You dopes got schooled Biden-style."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Governor Palin?"

FEY AS PALIN: "I liked being here tonight answering these tough questions without the filter of the mainstream gotcha media with their 'follow-up questions,' 'fact-checking' or 'incessant need to figure out what your words mean and why ya put them in that order.' I'm happy to be speaking directly to the American people to let them know if you want an outsider who doesn't like politics as usual or pronouncin' the "g" and the end of words she's sayin' I think you know who to vote for. Oh, and for those Joe Six-packs out there playing a drinking game at home -- Maverick."

LATIFAH AS IFILL: "Well, this concludes tonight's debate. The book drops November 4, and Live From New York...It's Saturday Night!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Don't Dis Dave

Another in a long list of bad decisions. Like the Palin choice, McCain just can't shake the call he made to skip out on David Letterman.

Part 1 of Letterman's interview last night with Brian Williams:

This was on top of the evening's Top 10 list:


10. "Let's practice your bewildered silence."

9. "Can you try saying 'yes' instead of 'you betcha'?"

8. "Hey, I can see Mexico from here!"

7. "Maybe we'll get lucky and there won't be any questions about Iraq, taxes or healthcare."

6. "We're screwed!"

5. "Can I just use that lipstick-pit bull thing again?"

4. "We have to wrap it up for the day -- McCain eats dinner at 4:30."

3. "Can we get Congress to bail us out of this debate?"

2. "John Edwards wants to know if you'd like some private tutoring in his van."

1. "Any way we can just get Tina Fey to do it?"

For those of you who have been under a rock. This is what started it all.

You go, Dave!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Gosh Darn It! It's the Veep Debate

Here are the highlights I caught...

Palin: ''...Our economy is hurting and the Federal Government has not provided the sound oversight that we need and that we deserve...''

I know. I'm biased...but I seriously can believe some of the stuff Palin is saying. McCain...the maverick who's serious about regulating the markets. Really?

Biden: ''Until two weeks ago, it was two Monday's ago John McCain said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Two weeks before that he said we had made great economic progress under George Bush's policies...''
Palin: ''John McCain in referring to the fundamentals of our economy being strong he was talking to and talking about the American work force.''

It's got to be embarrassing for Palin to have to sling that crap.

Biden: ''The charge is absolutely not true. Barack Obama did not vote to raise taxes. The vote she's referring to John McCain voted the exact same way. It was a budget procedural vote. John McCain voted the same way. I did not raise taxes. Number two, using the standard the Governor uses, John McCain 477 times to raise taxes. It's a bogus standard. But you notice, Gwen, the Governor did not answer the question about deregulation.''

Hot damn.

Palin: ''I may not answer the questions the way you or the moderator may want to hear but I'm going to talk straight to the American people.''

Uh...this is a debate. Not a speech. You're expected to address the questions.

Biden: ''I call that the ultimate Bridge to Nowhere.''


BTW, that's a pretty big (and bedazzled) flag pin. I guess she has to compensate for McCain forgetting his pin for the last debate.

Palin: ''...Even in these past weeks, there has been more and more revelation made aware now to Americans about the corruptions and greed on Wall Street.''

Really, we've now just become aware of greed on Wall Street? Funny. Wasn't there a movie called Wall Street that's famous for the famous line...''The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.'' That was from 1987.

Biden: ''As my mother would say, God love him but he's been dead wrong on the fundamental issues relating to the conduct of the war. Barack Obama has been right.''

You go Joe!

Biden: ''Past is prologue, Gwen. The issue is how different is John McCain's policy going to be from George Bush's? I haven't heard anything yet. I haven't heard how his policies can be different on Iran than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policies are going to be different with Isreal than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policies in Afganistan is going to be different than George Bush's. I haven't heard in Pakistan is going to be different than George Bush's. It may be. But so far, it is the same as George Bush's. And you know where that policy has taken us.''

Hot damn!

On no, Gwen, please don't ask Palin when we should nuke people.

Palin: ''He is the man that we need to leave...lead.''


Okay, over all. It wasn't the expected train derailment. But, based on content, you have to give it to Biden.

Don't Vote

...unless you care. Then you better make sure you're registered to vote.

The best line...from Sarah Silverman of course, "You can literally register to vote while you're pooping...if you have a laptop."