Friday, February 27, 2009


Papa thinks Peggy Noonan, who came to prominence working for Ronald Reagan, “The Great Communicator” - by putting her words in his mouth - has too many mirrors in her house.

Ms. Noonan somehow believes it is she who confers credibility on American Presidents. I suppose, since she thinks she did it for one of them, with his approval, she has a license to pontificate forevermore.

In The Wall Street Journal, she proclaims that Barack Obama, in an instant of self-realization, “became” the President during a moment in his speech to Congress – a moment naturally of her choosing. She doesn’t add, but - in order for that to be true - we must assume Mr. Obama failed to comprehend his victory in the election we had last November. You almost wonder what he was doing in Grant Park that night thanking a quarter of a million people gathered to hear him speak. Likewise, he also missed out on understanding what the transition was all about. I wonder why he even bothered? And, of course, Mr. Obama completely lost track of the significance of his inauguration. Perhaps, the confusion between him and the Chief Justice was because Obama didn’t realize it was he who was taking the Oath of Office. We’ll have to ask Peggy.

According to Ms. Noonan, it was only last Tuesday, while on television, standing before a joint session of Congress, that Obama finally understood that he was indeed the President of the United States.

The difficulty I have with Ms. Noonan, and the entire panoply of conservative pundits, is — they feel that until they declare the legitimacy of a President, he has none. Until she casts it aside, he is only a doubtful Chief Executive. Where was her analysis for our last doubtful POTUS? The 2000 election was as corrupt and destructive of honor, dignity and whatever it is we are fond of calling “democracy,” as any since 1824 or 1876. History has taught us little or nothing.

In January 2001, we inaugurated the loser of our election — and we never lifted a finger to object, except perhaps to order another glass of wine. If she had her legitimacy concerns about Bush 43 then, as she seems to indicate she did, now - Peggy Noonan kept them to herself — for eight long years.

Today, while announcing Obama’s newfound Presidential legitimacy, Noonan compares it to her old favorite and trumpets the Reagan victory in 1980 conveniently overlooking his despicable and near traitorous secret and illegal interference with Iran, during that campaign, urging them not to make a deal on the American hostages with Jimmy Carter. Nor does Ms. Noonan make any mention of her hero’s payback to Iran’s ruling clerics via arms shipments engineered in the White House by the bottom-dwelling Col. Oliver North. That’s legitimacy? For Peggy Noonan, it appears to qualify.

She goes on to praise Bush 41 as a symbol of the only other legitimate Presidency in recent times. Again she forgets. Of all the American Presidents who ever ran for a second term, Bush 41 received the smallest percentage of the vote in our national electoral history. Where Papa comes from, that equals a thunderous rejection of his Presidency by the American people. That’s a far cry from legitimacy.

And, yes, Peggy Noonan asserts that Bill Clinton, who actually won his election and then actually won his reelection too, was not a legitimate President. Reagan, YES – Clinton, NO. Like Papa said, too many mirrors in her house.

If I may once more associate myself favorably with a cinematic bunch of Mexican gold bandits... I don't need no Peggy Noonan to tell me who my President is.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


With this A-Rod steroid business there's a lot of new talk about the statistics compiled by steroid users. What do we do with Barry Bonds, McGuire, Sosa and the others? Do we reestablish Henry Aaron as Home Run leader? Babe Ruth?

The problem: baseball is a team sport, and every play, every ground ball, every hit, every piece of strategy involves the statistics of many ballplayers simultaneously. For example, do we take away Roger Clemens victories, or even some of them? If we do - if we don't count the games he pitched in his later years - what do we do with the statistics of the hitters who batted against him? If you take away a Win from Clemens what about taking the Loss from the pitcher who lost that game?

What if a player batted .298 in a season in which he was 0-6 against Clemens - what do we do? Take away those 6 hitless at-bats and refigure his batting average which would now be over .300? How do we make up the extra money that hitter did not get paid that he might have as a .300 hitter?

What about the pitchers who faced Bonds? Do we take away the home runs given up, refigure the wins and losses and reevaluate the ERA? If you take away Bonds' RBIs, do you also take away the Runs Scored for the players on base when he homered? Eliminate Bonds' intentional walks and then what - take away all the RBIs of the hitters who followed him and knocked in runs?

How about all the games Bonds, McGuire, Sosa and the others (do we even know who these others are?) were responsible for winning? If you take away their statistics, do we change the wins and losses for the games they personally influenced and alter the season standings? How about changing the World Series results?

There seems to be no workable solution other than to just "take it all into consideration" when coming to an opinion. If you don't accept Bonds, then Aaron is your Home Run champ. If you vote for the Hall of Fame, you can decide not to induct any steroid user. But when it comes to game statistics, you can't make it good... for all concerned, can you?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Why is everyone so worried about how the Congressional Republicans feel, what they think, why they don’t like the stimulus plan now before Congress and what they might want in return for their votes?

Has Papa missed something? Didn’t we have elections? Didn’t the Democrats win – in the House – in the Senate – and the White House too? Have the Democrats forgotten what winning means?

Haven’t we just finished 8 years of a Republican administration that didn’t give a rat’s ass what the Democrats felt or thought or what they might have wanted? What was it the right-wing’s radio drug-fatty said about bending over and grabbing your ankles?

The President and the Congressional Democrats need to stand up – straight up.

As far as Papa is concerned, we didn’t vote for Obama – and we didn’t provide him with solid majorities in both houses of Congress – so he could sit down with the GOP and grovel for their unnecessary votes. If the Republicans want to get something, in terms of legislation, let them go out and elect majorities in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. Until they manage that electoral challenge, let them learn the meaning of being in the minority.

We elected Obama based on what he promised, and I have no recollection of any speeches he gave during that stirring campaign in which he said he would cow-tow to the Old Guard in the Republican Party before sending new legislation to Congress.

Papa’s advice to President Obama – send your plan to Congress and make sure your own party votes for it. That’s all you need to do to make it law. I know you’re not really old enough to remember the great American movie, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Too bad… because right now – at this moment in political history – you don’t need no stinkin’ Republicans. And it would be nice if you could see Humphrey Bogart warning his opposition: “Any more lip out of you and I’ll haul off and let you have it. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t monkey around with Fred C. Dobbs.” Mr. President – try that line on the GOP the next time they start yapping.

Papa’s word to media – stop already with all the stuff about the Republicans in Congress. To the children who serve as TV producers - you need to look up the meaning of the word: irrelevant. In our system, you can’t have a legislative controversy, and a bill is never in question, unless there are two possible outcomes. Since every Republican in both the House and Senate can vote against every bill introduced by the Democratic leadership – and every bill will still pass anyway – when will the media realize that the Congressional Republicans simply don’t matter anymore.