Sunday, November 30, 2003

Bills won today, that's always a good thing. The season is pretty much over, but many are auditioning for next year, including the coach. The Offensive Coordinator, Kevin Gilbride is toast. The offense scored today, but with some difficulty against the hapless Giant. The defense probably retained their number one ranking which is the one sane thing this year.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

USA TODAY had a story on John Kerry and I sent a letter to the editor in regard to that story. Well guess what? They are going to publish an edited and truncated version of that letter, so stay tuned for my newspaper debut.

Dianne Feinstein is taking a lot of heat for voting yes on the Medicare package and Kerry is taking some heat for not remaing in the senate to put a "no" on record.

I think the latter issue is a non-issue. Kerry is in a dog fight for the nomination. The voting process could easily shave 2-3 hours of his time and at this stage in the game, every hour counts. An hour lost is one less hour pressing the flesh, communicating his vision with seniors, students, veterans, etc. Kerry is on record with where he stands on this issue, it is not like he can nuance his stance if he enters into debate with Bush.

As for Feinstein, this is precisely why I respect her and think she is fit for national leadership. She honestly believes that this is good for California which she serves. her argument that is that California has very strict Medicaid asset requirements and this bill allows a quarter of a million Californians who do not meet the Californian Medicaid requirement to get Medicare.

She is promising to watch this very closely and I believe her. I think her level headedness will give her leverage to work at fixing the Bill.

Herein lies the problem. The Republicans have a coherent strategy to get items of the table and "deliver." We see no overall strategy with the Democrats. If Dean wins the nomination, it'll get worse because, like Clinton's first two years, this man will not be able to get stuff passed his first tw o years. Dean has called Congress cockroaches and has reviled his party. Now, that's easy to say to people who are not in the know, which is most of the public. However, most politcal watches know that the Democrats in congress have fought tooth and nail to prevent some bad legislation, to mute the right wing thrust of congress and the president, and to propose alternatives. Dean has dissed them all saying they do nothing. This is not going to grant him a free pass with his party.

A Kerry or Gephardt on the other hand would be in a much better position to work with his party and reach out to moderate Republicans and get some things done. Right now, the Democratic party needs real leadership and that can only come from one place, John Kerry.

Bill Clinton laid an interesting course for the Democratic party, that was centrist and progressive. John Kerry can continue that, but add his own unique and exceptional qualities especially on national security. Dean has now found it politically expedient to reverse the Clinton direction and re-regulate and become more protectionist, and also cut entitlements (Gingrich is beaming broadly). I certainly hope and pray that John Kerry can win this nomination so that the Democratic party can continue on its new course. Otherwise, Dean will redefine the party again and weaken it further.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Feinstein for VP Watch

Feinstein is going to be voting for the Medicare bill that Kerry is planning to filibuster. Does that bode well or ill for a presidential partnership?

I do not necessarily think so. Feinstein is on Kerry's national steering committee and she was the first big wig to endorse him, so I think we can assume that they have communicated about this. The key thing is that like Kerry, Feinstein is not a party servant. She'll do what she thinks is right, which is what makes her a great VP candidate. Of course, we have to see how things play out.

On thing to note is that Kerry is running for president and so it would make no sense for him to accept this bill, even if he would have voted for it if he was not running for president. The reason is that if he makes it to the presidency, he (a) doesn't want to be stuck with a bad bill (b) he knows he can offer something much, much better.

I say fight on Kerry!

As for the Bills, the fought and faltered yesterday. Valiant effort by the defense but the season is pretty much over. It is clear that O-line talent is needed and a good tightend is needed too. We also need to think about drafting a 2-4 round quarterback for development. I have lost all faith in Bledsoe.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Dr. Romano, Paul McCrane's character in ER died in last nite's episode that was billed as the "greatest episode ever."

It was a lousy excuse of an episode. If they wanted to view good writing, they should have watched last nite's West Wing. That was a darn good story, no gimmicks, no blood, no helicopter falling on Romano's head.

I thought that for someone who had been there that long, his exit could have been much more gracious. He comes of as the jerk he always was and then dies and no one even knows he dies and that's it.

Also, I don't get the whole deal of trying to make Dr. Pratt the main deal. The guy's character is dreadful.

Dianne Feinstein calls the Energy Bill one of the "worst pieces of legislation I have ever seen.

I strongly believe a John Kerry/Dianne Feinstein presidential ticket in 04 is unbeatable.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

You go, Prez Bartlet, stared down the Republican speaker and squeezed for a deal! Okay, I admit I am a little too pumped about West Wing tonite, but it was an especially good episode. I wish more people watched it, because it is very educational and would probably be their only source of "news."

I heard Senator Sununu on NPR today. He says he is prepared to filibuster the Energy Bill that was written by republicans and lobbyists and special interests. A bill that Senator John McCain calls "leave no lobbyist behind." I'm glad that there is Republican opposition and the Democrats can not be pegged wrongly for obstructionism on what is a horrible bill.

The medicare bill is on shaky legs in the House. The Blue dogs are balking, and a coalition of conservative Republicans are getting sticker shock. Good, that medicare bill needs to die a quick but painful death.

I am still ploughing through page-proofs, tedious but fun.

We are ramping up grassroots organization for John Kerry, especially on the Catholics for Kerry Yahoo Group. My goal is to get 100 members by December 30.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Kerry did well at the big Iowa Democratic bash. The pundits have all but annointed Dean, but I think we'll have something to say about it, won't we President-elect Kerry?

Another dud for the Bills. Surely some heads most roll. If nothing else, Kevin Gilbride. How do you run for 184 yards and lose a game? Because after rushing the length of the field and playing smash mouth football, Gilbride and Bledsoe try to finnesse the red zone. Yuck!

I am kind'a excited today. I received my page proofs from the publisher on Friday and I am in the process of eidting. I have two weeks and then I'll send it back to them. From there it goes to production which takes 4-8 weeks and voila, I'll have a book. My main concern with PublishAmerica, my publisher, is that they do a poor job of editing. Fortunately, I had my mother-in-law edit the entire manuscript which helped immensly and then my wife further edited one half of the manuscript before I sent it in. My wife is going through the second half of the manuscript and we are comparing her edits to what the publisher did and this editor missed quite a bit, which is disconcerting.

I had read books from the publisher before I selected them and I was aware that editing skills would have to be sacrificed for the sake of publishing opportunity.

Friday, November 14, 2003

The Catholic Bishops have completed their general meeting and as usual the process is more significant than the final product. They did discuss same sex marriages and political participation by Catholics. On the issues of gay civil unions, they are under pressure to take a stand, on the other hand, they are trying to send a signal that they won't be coopted by the Republican party.

This was also the issue on political participation. They are emphasizing that core Catholic issues span the US politcal spectrum and as a result, Catholics do NOT HAVE A POLITICAL HOME. That was significant because they are subtlely making the case that convergence with Republicans on anti-abortion does not make a Catholic Republican. With the exception of abortion, vouchers and gay unions, there is much more convergence between Catholic values and the Democratic party: immigration, anti-poverty, TANF (gov't assistance for needy families), labor, etc.

I am going to try to work with a fellow John Kerry supporter to develop a Catholic voter guide to John Kerry. We'll see if we can lay out the issues and give both the Catholic position and Kerry's position. I suspect that there'll be convergence on a ide range of positions with the exception of vouchers, abortion and stem cell research.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I'm trying to get through an article on John Henry Newman in German--and I don't even read German.

The Bills are in free fall. Being in the AFC East means that there is still hope, but the question is the offense play caller, Gilbride. The man needs to be run out of town.

John Kerry is shaking things up in his campaign. I like that, I think all we supporters are happy, not because these were bad people, but because something was not working. Kerry bears 90% of the blame because it is his campaign, but if he is committed to change then there had to be a visible shake up to show his supporters that he hear us.

John Kerry was on the tonight show with Jay Leno and he did very well. I think the man's a great one and we have the chance to have a historic presidency if we select this guy. Kerry arrived on the set on his Harley. He is an avid Harley biker. In fact he told the story of how he was duped and his bike stolen from him and that led him to become a prosecutor. And during his tenure as asst. DA he busted the #2 crime family in the Boston Area. Kerry is tough on crime.

Here's a picture of Kerry and his Harley on the Tonight Show set:

Friday, November 07, 2003

The Bills have Dallas on Sunday. This is a hard one to call. Ordinarily, one would give the game to the Bills but, here again, we fail to match up coaching-wise and have not been able to play up to the talent level available.

Walter Shapiro of USA Today just wrote a book on his travels with the Democratic presidential candidates. He was interviewed this morning on CSPAN. At first I was dreading the interviewing because I suspected it was going to be all Dean. But I was pleasantly surprised. He noted that of all the candidates, the one he'd most likely like to have a beer with is John Kerry. he also defended Kerry's position on Iraq noting that Kerry's problem has been th elack of succinctness. He noted that Dean was not one to admit error easily. For instance, after the fall of Baghdad, Dean said "Saddam Hussein's removal was a good thing, I suppose." He never apologized or addressed the "I suppose" remark even though on a pure human rights level, Hussein's removal was a good thing.

Dean's getting a few major Union endorsements soon. I am somewhat amazed because I don't see what people see in him, but to each his own.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Man! I am getting my butt kicked at work. Nov-March is always crazy!

Howard Dean embraces the Confederate Flag--he said he wants to be the candidate for those in the South who drive pick up trucks with Confederate flags in their trucks. What a winner!!!

I watched Gephardt on Hardball yesterday, I think he shot himself in the foot when Chris Matthews pinned him in a corner making him admit that he would repeal right to work laws. What that means is that if in your work place the employess approve to form a union but a certain individual wishes to not join the Union, they would be forced to join anyway. Right now, you have the right to not join a Union is you choose not to. I appreciate unions but that would be extreme.

I am plowing through a German article on John Henry Newman's Illitative sense. Talk about stimulating reading.

John Kerry seems to be plodding along steadily, I hope Dean gets exposed soon for what he is and people begin to take the primary seriously and give all the candidates a close look. John Kerry is the man. he has a solid energy plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports by 20% by the year 2020, he has a plan to reduce the deficit in half in four years and create millions of new jobs, he is committed to R&D for energy sustainability, and a whole host of issues. Check him out at

The Bills play Dallas this week. I have absolutely no idea what to expect. The Bills have to go 7-1 or 6-2 to make the playoffs. Yes, I hear Jim Mora "playoffs??!!"