The two “Johns” of whom I write are John Liu and John Sampson. Liu is the NYC comptroller. Sampson is the state senator from Brooklyn’s 19th district. He is also the conference leader of the senate democrats. I want to believe he is actually the senate minority leader but some folks tell me that’s not official.
Anyway, both Liu and Sampson have come in for some serious ragging in mainstream media lately. I want to believe there is more to this than meets the unsuspecting naked eye.
A few columns aback I told you folks that the three major newspapers (Times, Daily News and N.Y. Post) are in the tank for NYC council speaker Christine Quinn: with the objective being to make her the next mayor of this city. They have been trying without subtlety to decimate those they perceive as her main opponents in the 2013 mayoral primary. Thus, over the last few years, they have been taking occasional pot shots at people like Marty Markowitz, Bill DiBlasio, Adolfo Carrion, Scott Stringer and Bill Thompson (don’t forget Anthony Wiener also). It is sad. These forces seem to believe that many aren’t observing all this. They are wrong in that assessment. read more »
Margaret was a Culture Kitchen blogger for awhile and, while there, was one of our best bloggers. She moved on long ago, and I always missed her presence at CK. But she went on to what she considered bigger and better things. In her 80's she discovered her public voice and I am proud I was one of the people who encouraged and helped her find that voice.
This comes late because I mainly interacted with Margaret Bassett by email. So if I didn't hear from her, I didn't think much about it. But I knew she was over 80. She was a subscriber to my Progressive Democrat Newsletter from the beginning soon after the 2004 election. She had seen me as something of a hope for the future in messaging, something I think she overrated me on, but I was flattered and tried to live up to.
Today I sent out a message to my subscribers that my writing of the Progressive Democrat Newsletter had clearly been on hold for over a month and I wasn't sure if/when it would come back.
One email bounced. It was the first time Margaret's email bounced in all the time she read my stuff. So it caught my attention immediately. It sent a shiver down my spine. So I did a quick google search and discovered what I feared...Margaret had died, back in August, at the age of 89. I cried. read more »
I kind of feel sorry for people who get tricked by Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Bruno, aka Ali G, aka Borat). Sometimes the victim just didn't deserve the treatment. However, at its best, Cohen's style can really tell you a lot about the target. In fact, those who handle it best impress me. One of my favorites is Andy Rooney (who I don't normally like) on Ali G:
A diary on Daily Kos reminds me that the Bruno persona had his moment with Ron Paul, and Ron Paul did not hold his own as well as Rooney, making me wonder how he would deal with difficult situations as President:
And of course Ali G interviewing The Newt Grinch is pretty amusing, making Newt seem almost reasonable:
A couple months ago I told a few people that Rick Santorum might just win the Iowa caucus. His poll-numbers were around two per cent then. A few of them laughed at me. One cynically asked me if I owned a crystal ball. Another questioned my punditry. Another said I was getting too full of myself. All these comments were similar to those made when I called the Obama caucus-victory four years ago.
I wasn’t kidding about Rick Santorum’s caucus chances. The former two term senator from Pennsylvania is the sleeper in Iowa. I will explain this further in another column (post-caucus). He has run true-blue grassroots campaigns in both Iowa and New Hampshire. He will do better than his poll-numbers suggest.
I know I haven’t written about this race for some time now. At least not since Herman’s wayward cane was exposed for its adulterous self/lol. Now Cain is gone gone gone; and those of us who were perpetually embarrassed by his presence in this race can laugh laugh laugh. Fact is this: Herman Cain was never in the race to win. This was one great big book signing-tour for him. He did that well. read more »
A few weeks ago I promised my Facebook followers that I would write a column on this season’s New York Knicks basketball team. Here it is.
Don’t look now, but there’s a champion growing at Madison Square Garden. The cultivation started just prior to the start of last season’s NBA schedule. That’s when free agent Amare Stoudemire signed on to become a Knickerbocker. Later in the season Carmelo Anthony joined via a trade with the Denver Nuggets; and although I felt (as a Knick fan) that we gave up a tad too much for him (4 players plus), it was a trade that had inevitability written all over it.
The bottom line was however, that with those two pieces in place, all the Knicks had to do was attain one more all-star-caliber player (preferably a defensive-specialist center) and we are off to the races. Well VOILA!! Knicks management has stepped up to the plate so to speak. read more »
The WW II dockside kiss:
Now, for the first time ever in America, the dock side kiss includes gay and lesbian troops:
It is such a small thing, and yet for history it is huge. Back in ancient times the Greeks recognized the value of gay soldiers in the super elite Theban "Sacred Band" which was composed of homosexual couples and was one of the most effective fighting forces of the time.
So America is just now catching up to ancient Greece on this issue.
It is about time Marty Golden has a real opponent. Brooklyn's Vito Lopez machine has been actively discouraging people from running for this seat. 2012 may be the turning point.
Let me introduce you to Andrew Gounardes for NY State Senate:
Check out his website: http://www.andrewgounardes.com/
A TV show portraying real Muslim-American families who are proud members of America's melting pot. Sounds like a pretty good idea, right? Showing both Muslims AND America in general that we CAN all get along. Seems to me that is about as American as we can get.
However right wing America won't stand for tolerance and acceptance of differences. They are boycotting companies advertising on the show and Lowes, for one, caved to their racist, anti-American demands.
Home improvement retailer Lowe's is facing criticism after removing advertising from a reality TV show showcasing American Muslims.
The company pulled ads from All-American Muslim after complaints from the Florida Family Association.
The cable TV show portrays the lives of five families in Dearborn, Michigan, a city known for its Muslim and Arab population.
Lowe's issued an apology, but did not say it would re-advertise on the show.
The North Carolina-based company said in a statement it apologised for having "managed to make some people very unhappy".
"It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective," the firm said...
Wait...a "hotly contested debate?????" What debate? Whether racism or tolerance is better? Whether Muslims should be treated like people? Exactly what side is Lowes coming down on here? read more »
This month's Central Brooklyn Eating Liberally meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 13th, 7 PM at Kaz an nou in Prospect Heights.
Kaz an nou
53 6th Ave,
This is one of the best restaurants in our rotation and tends to fill up even on a Tuesday, so best to arrive right around 7 PM to make sure we get a big enough table.
Hope you can join us for excellent food and some good political discussion.