Monday, September 27, 2010

A Sunday Dose of Darin - More

“Do you realize you’re alone in your generation? Sammy, Dean and I are all ten years ahead of you. Unless you destroy yourself, no one else can touch you… you have the talent, kid. You’re alone.” - Jerry Lewis

I fear that, perturbed by this blogs' recent, light-hearted but exceedingly respectful profile of her very admirable career - candidate for Senate and witchy Wiccan wonder, Christine O’Donnell may have been responsible for the technical difficulties that prevented me from sharing, “A Sunday Dose of Darin,” on its proper day. But, spell now lifted, please enjoy another great Bobby Darin performance and an interesting, rarely seen photo.

If when you think of Staten Island you think of gravity-defying hair, the world’s largest landfill and the daily harassment of Mexican immigrants, then you would no doubt be surprised to find out that at one time the self-proclaimed forgotten borough was a thriving resort area. And for Walden Robert Cassotto and the rest of the Cassotto clan of the Bronx, New York - South Beach, Staten Island was a frequent summer vacation destination. Yes, for those of you who would like to boast of a glamorous jaunt to South Beach but don’t have the scratch for a pillow-less plane ride to Florida, just pull together two-bits, hop on the S.S. Andrew Barberi and should the ferry successfully arrive without crashing into the dock, as is sometimes its want, you’ll soon be headed for surf, sand and, if very unlucky, the Situation. But who is Walden Robert Cassotto? He was a very ambitious and very talented young man struggling to make a name for himself in the entertainment field but, unfortunately, that name neither tripped easily off the tongue, nor seemed quite dynamic enough to light up a Hollywood marquee. So, as the story goes, one day Walden was passing a Mandarin Chinese restaurant with a faulty neon sign out front in which the “M-A-N” letters in Mandarin were burned out. From that day forward Walden Robert Cassotto would be forever known as Bobby Darin.

(Almost) This Day in Darin History - On September 25, 1959, Bobby Darin appeared as a guest star on a Jimmy Durante television special. He performed his current hit, Mack the Knife, and sang two duets with Durante.

From the album, “From Hello Dolly to Goodbye Charlie,” released in 1964 - “More.”

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Song Selection - Eddie Fisher: Lady of Spain

"That's it. I'm having my DNA fumigated.” - Carrie Fisher

Some knew him as Princess Leia’s dad. Some knew him as Elizabeth Taylor’s ex-husband. Some knew him as Debbie Reynolds’ ex-husband. Some knew him as Connie Stevens’ ex-husband. He was even Paul Simon’s father-in-law for a short period of time. In the game of six degrees of separation, he pretty much connects to everyone in one easy step. Yet, I’d hazard a guess that most people don’t know him at all anymore - and this despite two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, seventeen songs in the Top 10 on the music charts with thirty-five in the Top 40, and the fact that, for the better part of a decade, he was the most popular pop singer in the country. In recognition of his recent passing at the age of 82, today’s Saturday Song Selection pays tribute to Eddie Fisher.

His rise was meteoric, his fall almost equally so. His story is somewhat of a traditional Hollywood cautionary tale - rife with scandal, divorce, drugs, alcohol and gambling. He very famously divorced his first wife, Debbie Reynolds, to marry his best friend’s widow, Elizabeth Taylor - garnering damning headlines and negative publicity. When interviewed on the subject, Reynolds once actually commented that she could understand being left “for the world’s most beautiful woman.” However, Taylor, in turn, soon fell in love with the equally married Richard Burton and left Fisher for him, resulting in one of the all-time great Hollywood scandals. Eddie Fisher’s fame, and infamy, reached even to the highest corridors of power. As he wrote in his autobiography, "Jack Kennedy and I shared drugs and women."

Saturday, September 25th Birthdays -

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas were romantically born on the very same date, and just a mere 70 years apart.
Superstar Anson Williams, the man responsible for generations of children being cursed with the nickname, Potsie, is 61 today.
Happy 59th to Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, whom I know virtually nothing about but I mention in a vain attempt to appear classy and learned.
Barbara Walters turns a youthful 81, although much of her body is just approaching its teen years.
And celebrating in a far better place is the late great, English comedian, Ronnie Barker of “The Two Ronnies” fame. You don’t know him, but this one’s for me.

From 1952, and the number six spot on the pop music charts - Eddie Fisher with “Lady of Spain.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Your 2010 Republican Nominees

"American scientific companies are crossbreeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.” – Christine O’Donnell

Every so often, a unique candidate will surface who finally represents an unfairly under-represented minority in this country - the certifiably insane. This election season, in a highly unorthodox and extremely bold maneuver, the Republican Party has decided to run a complete slate of nominees that represent no one but, the certifiably insane. The Grand Old Party is counting on the crazy vote as their core constituency. This will be the first in a series of profiles on some of those Republican nominees for 2010. First up is a woman of whom Frank Sinatra may have said, “ooh, you’re a fine witch” - Christine O’Donnell, candidate from Delaware for the U.S. Senate.

Of all the controversies that have arisen since O’Donnell has emerged as the latest, completely unqualified celebrity in the right wing political firmament, the accusations of witchcraft are really the least worrisome. As she explained, she was just a high school student and her experimentations can be chalked up to common youthful indiscretion. After all, who among us when struggling through the difficult adolescent years, didn’t participate in behavior that we later regretted – whether it be that first toke of the demon weed, our first awkward sexual overture, or that first disembowelment of sacrificial livestock on a blood-soaked altar as part of a malevolent demonic ritual? For Christine, it was just a part of growing up as a wholesome, all-American girl - straight out of Archie comics, Norman Rockwell paintings and the Book of the Dead.

Her economic policies, on the contrary, should be more of a concern to voters. O’Donnell, righteous Republican fiscal conservative and vocal critic of current financial strategies, knows of what she speaks when it comes to matters monetary. She has been subject to an IRS tax lien and has pilfered some $20,000 from her campaign contributions in order to pay her rent, her utility and wireless phone bills, her personal travel expenses, her meals, and she has even used these misappropriated funds to pay for a bowling outing. Clearly, she has proven that she possesses both the economic acuity and practical experience to get the maximum benefit from her ill-gotten gains.

But we need to go beyond the sensationalism of her dabbling in the Dark Arts and her campaign thievery to examine her views and stances on the issues important to the American public today in the most impartial and fair-minded way possible - by allowing O’Donnell to speak for herself. In my research, I’ve discovered that finding irrational and implausible quotes from Christine O’Donnell is like finding sand on a beach, like finding intolerant illiterates in the Tea Party movement, like finding falsehoods in Sarah Palin speeches - the choices are infinite and incalculable.

On Issues of Sexual Mores, Sex Education and Sexual Equality
For a hint of where this is heading, Christine believes that homosexuals can be “cured.” Now, while it is true that, much like heterosexuals, gay people can be cured of gout, the asian flu and the heartbreak of psoriasis, they can not be cured of their gayness as one’s sexual orientation is neither a disease nor a malady.
“Condoms will not protect you from AIDS."

“It is not enough to be abstinent with other people, you also have to be abstinent alone. The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. You can't masturbate without lust!"
(Note the exclamation point - self-satisfaction is evidently a topic that she has spent many a long, lonely night contemplating.)

"Homosexuals are getting away with nudity! They're getting away with lasciviousness! They're getting away with perversion!"

“It’s kids being kids, that’s it.” (in reference to gay bashing)

“Calling them ‘AIDS victims’ is the kind of spinning with words and manipulating words that empowers the bias when it comes to AIDS.”

On Politics and her Political Opponents
"They're following me. They follow me home at night. I make sure that I come back to the townhouse and then we have our team come out and check all the bushes and check all the cars to make sure that -- they follow me.”

“He's soooo liberal. He's anti-American… He did not vote for English as the official language. What does that say?" (on President Obama’s patriotism)

"You know, these are the kind of cheap, underhanded, un-manly tactics that we've come to expect from Obama's favorite Republican, Mike Castle. Mike, this is not a bake-off, get your man-pants on."

On Society and Progress
"We took the Bible and prayer out of public schools, and now we're having weekly shootings practically.”

"By integrating women into particularly military institutes, it cripples the readiness of our defense.”

“America is now a socialist economy.”

“In the guise of so-called freedom of separation of church and state, they’re trying to institute a communist country and that sounds radical but that’s the truth.”

Some political figures are so compelling and create such a sensation that it becomes clear that they are the exact right person for a certain time and a certain place. For Christine O’Donnell that time is the 19th century and that place is Saudi Arabia.

Next up in the series - the megalomaniacal meanderings of that macho millionaire from Upstate New York, who’s ready to throw down and do epic battle to the death against Andrew Cuomo in the Thunderdome - Carl Palladino.

But first, the Divinyls perform Christine O’Donnell’s official campaign song.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Sunday Dose of Darin - Charade

“I’m Bobby Darin, and I’m going to be a star. I think you should know me. I think you should write about me. I think you should pay attention to me.” - Bobby Darin, age 17

This week, rather than write about the song and the particulars of the performance - which is exceptional, of course - I want to share a little bit of Bobby Darin’s biography. His life was dramatic and fascinating, and his personal story provides an interesting perspective for his professional accomplishments.

At the age of 8, Bobby Darin was stricken with rheumatic fever which left him with a severely weakened heart and recurring health problems that would plague him the rest of his tragically short life. At 9, he overheard a doctor tell his mother that, even with the best of care, Bobby would be lucky to see his 16th birthday, Darin knew from this very early age that he was destined to die young. As illustrated by the opening quote, he could often come across as overly-confident, even arrogant. In reality, Bobby Darin was an extremely driven man who, rather than give up on life, used his unfortunate situation as motivation to achieve as much as he possibly could in the time that he was allotted.

“I want to make it faster than anyone has ever made it before. I’d like to be the biggest thing in show business by the time I’m 25 years old.”

At 32, now an international star, a multiple Grammy Award Winner and an Oscar nominee - having survived beyond any realistically anticipated life-expectancy, and having surpassed even the very lofty career goals that he had set for himself - Bobby Darin received some traumatic news from which he never fully recovered. His sister, Nina, revealed to him that she was, in actuality, his mother and that the woman he lived 3 decades believing was his mother, was really his grandmother.

“My whole life has been a lie.”

Bobby Darin was quite the astute 17 year old. He did, indeed, become a star. Through his numerous talents, and his body of work, we did get to know him. And now, 37 years after his passing, we’re still writing about him, and still paying attention to him.

“My goal is to be remembered as a human being and as a great performer.”

Another goal accomplished.

From the 1964 album, “From Hello Dolly to Goodbye Charlie,” music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer - Bobby Darin and “Charade.”

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Song Selection - The Man that Got Away

“I try to bring the audience's own drama - tears and laughter they know about - to them.” -
Judy Garland

Thankfully, the weekend is upon us and, once again, it’s time to share another musical treasure. The song is a classic. The composers are renowned. The entertainer - the definition of a legend. But this week’s selection was chosen, primarily, for this extraordinary performance.

A staple of the American Songbook, “The Man that Got Away,” has been covered by female vocalists ranging from Barbra Streisand and Ella Fitzgerald to Cher and Sheena Easton. With a little lyric adjustment and a touch of testosterone, “The Gal that Got Away,“ became part of the male repertoire, as well, with recordings from Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin, among others. Falling somewhere in between, was the interpretation by one time television variety show regular and America’s favorite celebrity female impersonator of yore - Jim Bailey. But, like “Over the Rainbow“ before it, and as witnessed by this remarkable clip, “The Man that Got Away,” belonged to Judy Garland.

This version is from a 1962 Judy Garland special that featured a pair of little known guest stars, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and served as the pilot for Garland’s CBS variety series. Since then, it’s been repackaged, re-released and re-titled as “Judy, Frank and Dean: Once in a Lifetime.” Unfortunately, it’s also been re-hued, as it’s now colorized, but that’s a small price to pay to have access to this great and timeless hour of television.

In the two degrees of Judy Garland department - I was fortunate enough to work with daughter, Liza Minnelli on one occasion, and I’m happy to note that she couldn’t have been nicer, more pleasant or more cooperative. On the downside, our much-publicized and scandal-plagued marriage, was very short-lived.

Saturday, September 18 Birthdays -

The man with direct ties to both Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love and Annette, the Italian-American Goddess of the Mousketeers - Frankie Avalon turns 70.
Former Ace Trucking Company member, who spent years working with Raymond J. Johnson Jr. - but you don’t have to call him Johnson - dry-witted, comedy icon, Fred Willard is 71.
She’s Rocky the Flying Squirrel. She’s Jokey the Smurf. She’s Cindy Lou Who. And she’s turning 93 - June Foray.
And lastly, we remember the late Rossano Brazzi, born 94 years ago today, who could neither be washed out of Mitzi Gaynor’s hair, nor be sent on his way. Get the picture?

Now, from the 1954 film, “A Star is Born,“ with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Ira Gershwin - an Oscar nominee for Best Original Song - “The Man that Got Away.”

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Can't Buy Me Class, No: An Afternoon at the Carlyle

There are 8 million, self-indulgent and meandering, stories in the Naked City. This is one of them.

Recently, a friend and I moved on up to the East Side - not to live, mind you - but to enjoy some afternoon tea. So, while we did not get our piece of the pie, we did have some pretty flavorful pastries. At one juncture, I might have even detected the aromas of fish frying in the kitchen and beans burning on the grill, but it is very possible that I was mistaken. And while the scones, sandwiches, tea and aforementioned sweets were all quite pleasant, the moneyed, Upper East Side company that surrounded us, unfortunately, was not.

As is common with many New Yorkers, I’m a neighborhood type. I live 3 blocks from work and can easily take care of most of the necessities in life in those very 3 blocks. My vet is 2 blocks south, my optometrist, 1 ½. Any grocery needs can be fulfilled on my corner. My tavern, in which I envision myself, a more lithe, 21st century Norm Peterson, also falls within this perimeter; as does my dry cleaner, drug store, health food store, laundromat, numerous theatres, and copious and varied restaurants - and once upon a blissful time, when this service was still a requirement - I had two different barbers within that small neighborhood confine. If McSorley’s thought it desirous to relocate to Midtown Manhattan, I’d be experiencing a personal Nirvana. Some may sense a certain loser-like quality in my provincial faithfulness, and in my reticence in journeying beyond the boundaries of Hell’s Kitchen, I prefer to view it as loyalty and fidelity. The Carlyle Hotel, setting of the afternoon tea, is located on 76th Street and Madison Avenue, squarely in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Like Sarah Palin at a Mensa meeting, like Sharron Angle at a gun-control rally, like Christine O’Donnell at Plato’s Retreat (a reference simultaneously topical and dated) I was a stranger in a strange land, an unwelcome and uninvited intruder in my own borough, a mere 10 minute cab ride from my apartment. On occasion the twains do meet, some people work it out. During their long and healthy relationship, Mia Farrow, and her ever-expanding brood, maintained an apartment on the West Side of Central Park, while Woody Allen, and his ever-expanding brooding, kept a home on the East.

Our fellow “tea-totalers” for the day consisted of a whimpering, screaming, crying, fit-throwing, tyke; a snoozing and eventually snoring, wealthy man of leisure; a middle-aged, nattily attired gentleman, accompanied by his, hired for the day, extremely younger, pretty-boy, uncomfortably out of his element, companion; and lastly a foreign, female art collector, heretofore referred to as the “f-bomb lady.” And so we spent our afternoon amidst these representatives of our country’s wealthy ruling class - the people who have bought and own the Republican Party. Regarding little Eloise, surely afternoon tea at a posh hotel is not really entertaining for a toddler no matter her aristocratic upbringing. Fault for this misbehavior, clearly lies on the shoulders of mater and pater, and their better choice would have been to leave the little one at home with her illegal immigrant nanny. The male escort, on the other hand, was perfectly well behaved, but just a tad squirmy and obviously uncomfortable. His behavior later on, I cannot knowledgably address. The snorer was at least still and settled, but his sawing of the wood was quite the distracting aural presence as it was happening just a mere few inches from my friend’s ears. But the crown for most annoying, and most disturbing elite at the Carlyle Hotel on that fine summer day belonged, without any true competition, to the f-bomb lady. With her thick French accent, and regal old-money carriage, she loudly and with great frequency and consistency, railed against the many troubles that can upset one of independent means - and she did so with the command of a vocabulary that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush and Redd Foxx roll over in his grave. As she was sitting at the table alongside ours she did make our intended relaxing afternoon, somewhat less than relaxing, but there was still a minor entertainment factor involved as one does not hear that combination of Sutton Pace and Bowery Boy very often. To her credit, she expertly intertwined references to Picasso paintings, 2 million dollar payments, 5 million dollar payments and even Bernie Madoff, with every possible permutation of the word “fudge“ (this blog doesn’t go blue) - noun, verb, adjective - and I’m sure the busboys were quite sympathetic to her woeful plight. Fortunately, our meal was soon completed and our sociological journey concluded. We left this land of make believe to return to a place of actual, real people with relatable problems. I headed to the 99 cents aisle of my local hardware store and then onto Duane Reade to peruse the week’s sales circular.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Sunday Dose of Darin - Simple Song of Freedom

“A great voice, he ain’t got. An actor he don’t seem to be. A matinee idol he certainly ain’t. A happy kid he’s not either, they tell me. But you put all the ain’ts and nots together, and you got the hottest talent to walk across a stage in over twenty years.” - Anonymous “Showbiz Old-timer,” Cosmopolitan Magazine, 1960

With much appreciation for the warm and enthusiastic responses the two previous postings of Bobby Darin songs have received, today begins a new and regular feature on “… and several butcher‘s aprons” - the inaugural launch of “A Sunday Dose of Darin.” Each week will feature an interesting, entertaining and, possibly, unexpected Bobby Darin number accompanied by facts or stories from his life that will be relevant to the chosen song. I say, unexpected, as the hope is to go beyond, “Beyond the Sea,” and “Mack the Knife,” so that those unfamiliar with the Darin canon and history will be exposed to his impressive and varied body of work, while at the same time his more knowledgeable and loyal followers will still find something to pique their interest.

On this solemn weekend when we commemorate the sorrowful events of September 11th, 2001, it seems most appropriate to present a song that demonstrates Darin’s politically and socially aware side. From his Bob Darin, folk-rock, singer-songwriter period, this is “Simple Song of Freedom.”

Bobby Darin was a man of conscience and concern who did what he could to combat the ills of social injustice and racial inequality. As a performer, for example, he would often employ black comics, as his opening acts, in night clubs that had strict policies against hiring black entertainers. If the club owners fought him, he would simply refuse to perform. As a songwriter, he composed dozens of songs that addressed the various, contentious issues of the day. And as an individual citizen, Darin participated in civil rights marches on Washington and worked, intently, on Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Darin was so profoundly affected by the assassination of the man he called friend, and saw as the hope for the future of our embattled nation that, in response, he gave away the vast majority of his material wealth and escaped to a rented trailer on a beach in Malibu in order to sort out his priorities and personal and professional future.

‘When Bobby Kennedy was killed I thought, if a man like that could die, than what could I do for this world?” - Bobby Darin.

Composed in 1969 - Simple Song of Freedom

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Song Selection - Ray Charles: In Solemn Memory

“Patriotism... is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” - Adlai Stevenson

In remembrance of those that we lost 9 years ago today -
May your sacrifice never be forgotten. May we honor you by forever staying true to our core values, beliefs and freedoms. And may we never do disservice to your memory by using the tragic events of that day to promote religious intolerance, racial bigotry, or for cynical political gain.

I remember, well, the experience of seeing complete strangers reach out to each other, comfort each other and aid each other. I witnessed courage and humanity - and I was never prouder to be a New Yorker. Then, in the days and weeks that followed, I had the privilege of meeting people, from all around the country, who had come to New York to lend a hand. I witnessed compassion and brotherhood - and I was never prouder to be an American.

From a musical genius, a national treasure and an American icon - the legendary Ray Charles and his incomparable performance of America the Beautiful.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Takin' Care of Business: Celebrating Labor Day

A Musical Salute

“The end of labor is to gain leisure” - Aristotle

“You get up every morning
From your alarm clock's warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There's a whistle up above
And people pushing', people shoving" - Randy Bachman

While it is a widely held belief that the Labor Day holiday was created by, mercurial comedy legend, Jerry Lewis in order to facilitate once-yearly television appearances for show business pals Norm Crosby, Jack Jones and Charo - coochi, coochi - this, in fact, is not the case. Let’s let the U.S. Department of Labor shed some light.
“Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
Well said, Department of Labor, we’ll miss you when the tea-baggers take over, but for now, this is a day to salute all of the working people. Let the Republicans cater to the top 1% wealthy ruling class, they may have the other 364 days - but today, break out that Kingsford charcoal or charge that Samsung 55 inch 3D LED TV, half off today and today only, at PC Richards, or sit stewing and cursing in your Camry stuck for 6 desperate hours in teeming turnpike traffic, just for the pleasure of spending barely 2 hours on an almost lethally crowded beach - because this is your day. Let the plutocracy eat cake!

In 1894, 22nd and 24th President of the United States, Grover Cleveland proclaimed the first Monday of every subsequent September - Labor Day. Of course, if such a notion of celebrating “labor” and the “worker” was proffered today it would, no doubt, be portrayed as further evidence of the evil, creeping, Kenyan, Muslim, Obama Socialism and most likely would never survive a Senate filibuster.

To all of those who did toil today so that the majority of workers who did not could enjoy their leisure time even more fully - to the waitresses, bartenders, bus drivers, cabbies, store clerks, chefs and so on and so on - we extend our gratitude and appreciation.

So, thanks Charlie Callas, and kudos Amazing Kreskin, and much appreciation Buddy Greco - we crave your annual visits. Most of all, thank you, Jerry Lewis. You may be, perhaps, a tad intense at times but we value the many years of good charitable work as well as your urbane comedy stylings - the long-flamed lighter burning the nose hairs bit never gets old. But at this time of tragically high unemployment - when Congressional Republicans block job bill after job bill, delay legitimately earned unemployment benefits and refer to jobless workers in terms such as "lazy" and "hobos," it's particularly appropriate to recognize and thank America's work force.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Song Selection - Look Out Old Mackey is Back!

To quote legendary Little Rascal, Spanky McFarland, “It’s Saturday! It’s Saturday! Hey nanni nanni and a ha cha cha!“ Meaning that, once again, it’s time to shelve partisan politics in favor of memorable music that people of all political persuasions can appreciate. The response to last Saturday’s posting of Bobby Darin’s, “Sunday in New York ” was somewhat overwhelming, garnering about four times as many page visits than anything posted previously or since. It’s gratifying to see that Darin, his talent and his legacy are still very much alive in the eyes of so many. In celebration, Bobby makes a return appearance to this week’s Saturday Song Selection. Today’s number will probably only be familiar to true Bobby Darin devotees, but it’s worth sharing so that others can be exposed to it as well. This song hails from the short period when he went by Bob Darin, traded his tuxedo for denim and abandoned his toupee for his naturally thinning pate. It was released as the B-side (you do remember 45's and A-sides and B-sides, don't you?) to the Tim Hardin penned, folk hit, “If I Were a Carpenter,” and it’s a Darin original composition entitled, “Rainin’.” If you’re primarily familiar with Bobby through his more well-known, swinging, big band arranged numbers, this provides a glimpse at a much mellower side. He was, certainly, no one-note performer. When next we meet, over a Darin melody, I’ll share some of the interesting and very dramatic biographical information that shaped this exceedingly driven man and helped make him the accomplished and multi-talented entertainer that he became. But until then, enjoy “Rainin’.”

Saturday, September 4th Birthdays –

Beyonce Knowles turns 28, and Jay Z, my party invitation is where, exactly?
Actress, Ione Skye is 30 today - a familiar name, I couldn’t pick out of a lineup.
Happy day to singer, dancer, actress Mitzi Gaynor who, at 79, is still washin’ men out of her hair.
And finally, major league birthday wishes to Future Baseball Hall of Famer, Mike Piazza – 41. the greatest position player to ever sport a Met uniform. Mike, this is your day, feel free to throw that broken bat right back at Roger (‘roid rage) Clemens. He’s one guy who deserves to be hit when he’s down.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beyond the Fringe: Voices from the Right

“Rejoice, rejoice, we have no choice but to carry on.” - Stephen Stills

As our nation basks in the love-filled, benevolent afterglow of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally, it seems a most opportune time to take a more fact-based look at the Tea Party and the Far Right - what they represent and what they appear to desire for the future of our Republic. My prattling, my pop culture references, even my beloved alliterations will all be kept to a minimum. Today, I will allow the sage wisdom of the leaders of the Right to flower and to grow, as their profound and insightful words speak for themselves.

  • The myth about the Republicans being the “party of no” simply is not true. They sincerely wish to reach across the ideological divide and accomplish things with this President in order to benefit the country and its people -
"If we're able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo -- it will break him." -- Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina

“The dirty little secret is that every Republican in this country wants Obama to fail but none of them have the guts to say so. I'm willing to say it.” --Rush Limbaugh, dancing monkey, prescription drug abuser and defacto leader of the Republican party

  • Surely, nothing means more to these champions of personal liberty than the health, education, and economic well-being of the citizenry -
“The truth about it is that they keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does ... What has happened is this system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job." - Sharron Angle, Nevada Republican Nominee for the U.S. Senate

“As your U.S. Senator, I am not in the business of creating jobs” - Sharron Angle

"To our seniors, I have a message for you: you're going to die sooner." –Sen. Tom Coburn , Oklahoma

"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970's that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama. I just think it's an interesting coincidence." -- Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota

“National community service programs' real goal is to establish re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward." -- Rep. Michele Bachmann

  • Of course, the most sacred thing of all to these, small government, self-proclaimed Constitutionalists, is the sanctity of that very hallowed document, the United States Constitution. If you don’t include the 1st, 14th or 17th Amendments as part of the Constitution, that is.
1st Amendment - Freedom of Religion -
"Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the homeland. Prayerful Muslims, please refudiate." -- Sarah Palin, former beauty contestant, local news sports anchor, Facebook friend, half-term, former Governor of Alaska, and holder of no office

14th Amendment - Birthright Citizenship
“ I do think that it’s time for us to secure our borders and enforce the law and allow this conversation about the 14th amendment to continue. Listen, I think it’s worth considering.” - John Boehner, House Minority Leader

17th Amendment - Direct Election of U.S. Senators by Popular Vote
"The Senate was supposed to be elected by the states, not the citizens: Voted on by the state legislature and then sent to Washington." -- Glenn Beck, well compensated, manic-depressive

Glenn Beck is an entertainer. A harlequin. A jester. A clown. I suspect that he’s rounding the corner on minute 14 of his 15 minutes. American broadcasting is littered with the forgotten bombast of the many Glenn Becks that it has given momentary rise to throughout it’s long history. He is by no means an original nor is he, in any way, unique. Alan Burke, Joe Pyne, Morton Downey Jr. - all virtually forgotten - all did Beck’s act years prior to the phenomenon of the 24 hour cable news networks. The real danger lies not in the nonsensical ranting of the future game show host and infomercial pitchman, but in the actual office seekers and office holders themselves. Just something to ponder come November, and come 2012.

Carry on.