Thursday, September 30, 2010
I know Grayson's district well, having traveled to Orlando and Central Florida many times in my life. The district is not as liberal as he is and knowing it's not a year for the Democrats, along with his outlandish comments I've recently covered, he's finding himself in trouble, as proven by his behavior in this campaign.
This week, Grayson aired an attack ad against his opponent, Daniel Webster, aligning him with the Taliban:
Grayson has been excoriated by numerous media outlets in Central Florida and stands by his ad, where he took Webster out of context as the following video proves:
Another group, mocking Grayson's lies and questionable character proves how easy it is to take Grayson's comments out of context.
There is now a charge of plagiarism floating around as a Grayson ad (really creepy, if you ask me) nearly copies an ad from Eliot "Client #9" Spitzer's Gubernatorial Campaign.
We have seen Alan Grayson's outlandish comments and questionable character traits that proves he is not a positive leader that voters of the 8th District need. Daniel Webster has amassed a Conservative voting record in the Florida House and Senate, has business experience and is more in line with the voters of Florida's 8th. I admire Webster's stand of trying to keep the campaign positive, but he needs to take the gloves off against this bully and go "Iron Man" (offensive and defensive). Alan Grayson belongs on MSNBC more than he does in Congress...and he'll likely be their new hire after Congress.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
After the 3rd week, it looks as if there is trouble brewing at the Meadowlands. The Giants just lost their 2nd straight game, and the loss was ugly; filled with personal fouls, turnovers and lackadaisical play where they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the Tennessee Titans. Last week, the loss against the Indianapolis Colts was equally as ugly, however, the Colts are a far better team than the Giants this season. Fans and sportswriters are wondering what the heck is going on. Vultures are already starting to circulate around the New Meadowlands Stadium and many are predicting that this will be Tom Coughlin's last season with the Giants (after this season, he has one more year on his contract), as a result of this season and last season's implosion.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a huge fan of Tom Coughlin. He comes from the Bill Parcells school of coaching, which contributed to bringing the Giants two Lombardi Trophies after Super Bowls XXI and XXV. Coughlin made sure his players were disciplined and with that discipline, the team was rebuilt, which was left a mess in the final years of Jim Fassel's tenure with the Giants. The media piled on Tom Coughlin because of his authoritarian ways as they did in Jacksonville (which was the most successful NFL Expansion franchise), Tiki Barber tried to get the guy fired while crying from the sidelines, "He was mean and made me retire," but in the end, it was Tom Coughlin who led that team and brought the best out of them so they brought home the Lombardi Trophy after the 2007 season, in a season where they were playing the undefeated New England Patriots, who were gunning for football immortality in Super Bowl XLII. I was very happy to see Michael Strahan has weighed in, defending his former coach and talking how he transitioned from an authoritarian to a positive reinforcer, which helped them to win the Super Bowl. Has he become too loose since? Considering his rebuke of Hakeem Nicks, I wouldn't call him a full-on players' coach yet. Steve Politi at the Star-Ledger also agrees that the Giants' slump doesn't stem from Tom Coughlin's coaching, although he does implicate GM Jerry Reese, to which I agree in his lack of success in the draft, sans Hakeem Nicks, and priorities in building the team. But back to Tom Coughlin. He is not only a strong leader and good leader on the field, but off the field as well, with his founding and active participation in the charity, the Jay Fund.
I know there are some Giants fans asking would we be better off with Bill Cowher and while he has done amazing things as coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Giants would be wise to stand by Tom Coughlin. As I had previously stated, I believe loyalty must be practiced, as opposed to the "what have you done for me lately" attitude that exists in the NFL these days. Giants fans must remember that it is Tom Coughlin who coached the Giants to a Super Bowl Championship, cured Tiki Barber of his fumble issues and mentored Eli Manning into a star quarterback.
If we remember, the 2007 Season got off to a rocky start. Coughlin then started the player's forum where the leaders of the team acted as the ambassadors between the coaches and the younger guys on the team. They started to win and the rest was history! The veterans on the team, as Strahan stated, need to step up and be a force in the locker room that will set the example. Maybe this will save the season...and Tom Coughlin's tenure with the Giants.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I always tell friends, colleagues and family, "Never Count Out the Clintons!" They rebound like nobody else and this poll proves it. Bill Clinton has the highest of "positive feelings" of political figures. This tells me two things:
1) Americans forgot or forgave him about his 8 year record in the White House, namely his finger-wagging denial.
2) Obama should be nervous as there is someone waiting in the wings:
That's right! Where Bill goes, Hillary also goes and she will benefit from Bill's rebound. (Who passionately supported her 2008 campaign, and will do the same in 2012.) Hillary will be back, standing on her own, and likely challenge Obama in 2012. I do not think she ever got over 2008 (nor has Bill) and has been brewing since, even though she is serving as his Secretary of State. After reading the Halperin/Heilemann book Game Change, earlier in the year, I was taken aback at how the Obama-Clinton rift was deeper than any of us had ever imagined! The authors also discussed how, in the interest of not being perceived a racist, the Clinton campaign held back on much of Obama's past that the media, outside of Fox News, refused to cover. Come 2012, Obama will have a political record on which to run, and in Clinton's view, he'll have to defend that record, along with his past, as everything with Hillary Clinton this time around will be fair game.
The only way she will not run is if Obama's approval rating rebounds, something I do not believe will occur. Once the Midterm Elections pass, keep an eye on when and if she resigns her post as Secretary of State. If Hillary Clinton is out by March, she will likely be challenging the incumbent president in 2012, something we haven't seen since 1980 when Ted Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter. And if this does happen, I suggest to my fellow Conservatives and Republicans to have your popcorn ready, as this will be more entertaining than going to the movies!
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is in the news again. Today, he announced more reforms in education, in the area of tenure and pay based on merit and not seniority. The reform also gives new requirements for elementary teacher testing in reading and math. It remains to be seen how this will progress, considering there is a Democrat Legislature with which he must contend, who will certainly be influenced by the NJEA leading up to the 2011 New Jersey Midterms. I was not expecting him to announce these reforms this early, but I give him credit for it and as I said earlier, he leads and governs confidently and acts as though he is a one-termer, something so seldom seen in politics.
I would like to offer the Governor some advice: In these reforms, make sure administrators' personnel decisions are based on the facts laid out in front of them; whether evaluations, student test scores or parental input, and not politics or a personal agenda. Despite the NJEA's (and AFT's) claims, I have observed many incidences how they do not consistently protect and defend their teachers against the dirty politics in education and it is my hope these new reforms do what the union refuses to do. I do believe these reforms have the potential to make sure good teachers are in the profession and the classroom, and the bad teachers are either retired or in another profession.
I will closely be watching how this plays out as I guarantee we'll be hearing the NJEA react to Christie very soon. Early predictions are this will not be a quick process, but again, I'll be watching closely.
Just finished reading David Limbaugh's Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama today. Limbaugh (younger brother of Rush Limbaugh), an attorney and columnist, goes through point by point where he believes Obama's lack of leadership and embracing of a big government, socialist and corrupt ideology has failed the American people. And this book isn't just an overview, it describes in depth and cites many sources, whether applying the psychological definition of narcissism to the president's demeanor, or the many examples of the president not leading and ignoring the will of the American people. Furthermore, Limbaugh described questionable actions that were not painstakingly covered by the media such as the firing of Gerald Walpin and the application of political payback and revenge when deciding which Chrysler dealerships to close. The footnotes section alone is 100 pages for those who question Limbaugh's sources.
For anyone not following politics or the Midterm Election cycle closely, I highly recommend reading David Limaugh's book, as it is an appropriate reference point to catching up and assisting the voter to learn how Obama and the Democrats who have supported him have turned their back on the Constitution in leading the country. With this education that Limbaugh provides in this excellent read, Americans can vote appropriately.
Monday, September 27, 2010
A little more about the background behind The Calling to Lead.
Growing up in New Jersey in the 1980s, I, like everyone else who lived here during that time, came to know Governor Thomas H. Kean very well. A former educator, Assemblyman, Assembly Speaker and Minority Leader, he was elected Governor in the closest election in New Jersey history and won re-election by the largest plurality in New Jersey history. During his time in Trenton, he successfully reformed education, cut taxes and encouraged investment and tourism in New Jersey. (Who didn't love New Jersey & You-Perfect Together!!!) After leaving Trenton, Governor Kean became the President of Drew University and in his time there, he raised the notoriety of Drew, inspired his students and became involved in their lives, unlike most university presidents. His leadership is a big reason why Drew is known outside of the Northeast as one of the best Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States. I remember during my time at Drew he was not only a major reason why I chose Drew, but he was a mentor in the fields I decided to pursue after I earned my BA. He expected the best and positively mentored not only me, but his other students and advisees so they may achieve the best. The faith he had in me in my writing opinion pieces in The Acorn, to reviving Drew's College Republicans, to politically speaking out, was memorable as it allowed me to hone the skills for the real world that my parents taught me prior to college. Governor Kean was not only my mentor at Drew, but he was my professor and one of my academic advisors. He is a big reason why Drew University was such a memorable time of my life. The picture you see above is of the Governor embracing me (I cropped myself out) on the Porch of Mead Hall on Commencement Day, 2001.
When I began planning and writing The Calling to Lead, I wished to include Governor Kean and not allowing him to 'play himself' would be unfair, as readers should know his true colors as a mentor and statesman. Therefore, when reading The Calling to Lead, readers will observe his interactions with Michael during his years as a student at Drew University and how their relationship allowed Governor Kean to be a mentor in Michael Buonocore's life. Similar to myself, Michael Buonocore may not be 100% aligned in political beliefs with the Governor, (Like Michael, I consider myself more Conservative than the Governor) but he stays loyal as he understands the significant role Governor Kean played in his intellectual development at Drew University.
I will end this entry with a quote from the Governor that I always remember in everything I do in life:
"Give back to those who have given to you."This quote also plays a role in The Calling to Lead in how Michael leads his life after his undergraduate years at Drew University.
This ad talks about a moment in which Boxer refused to be called ma'am, by a General, and takes him to task for it. Apparently, Boxer has a pattern of this, as her exchange with Harry Alford, the National Black Chamber of Commerce Chair, demonstrates, noted in one of my favorite Glenn Beck moments. This moment was so shocking and abrasive that it inspired author Vince Flynn to include it in his 2009 novel, Pursuit of Honor. (which I highly recommend)
Carly Fiorina's ads have been somewhat strange, but humorous, now they have transitioned to being effective! I am not counting out Carly as this woman proved in her professional life in the business world, especially at HP, and personal life, in successfully battling breast cancer, she is a fighter!
We'll see if she (and Meg Whitman in her campaign for governor) can be effective in making California red this November.
Nobody is asking Chris Coons, O'Donnell's Democrat opponent, any questions about his background, so as a result, Jeffrey Lord has just penned an article on the American Spectator, examining the background of Chris Coons. Coons states that he:
"Intends to use elected office as a chance to apply the principles and values that were honed at YDS (Yale Divinity School)."In light of those comments, Lord examines what those values are. It's very eye opening article and I notice, yet am not surprised, by a double standard of how the media treats Christine O'Donnell versus how they will react to Chris Coons in light of the information in this article. Let's hope Delaware voters not only read this article, but do a little more research on their own prior to Election Day.
UPDATE on 9/17 at 9:20PM: A well written press release by Christine O'Donnell on how Chris Coon's mentioned in an interview, he "pledges his vote" to Harry Reid. Kudos to O'Donnell's campaign for catching this and making sure it gets out through her campaign's website, Facebook and Twitter.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Earlier this year, Glenn Beck used a phrase to describe New Jersey's Governor, Chris Christie: "Common Sense Porn." (In the clip, Beck is playing a clip of an exchange Governor Christie had with the Star-Ledger's Tom Moran)
Since becoming Governor in January of 2010, Governor Christie has shown himself to be a strong leader, not afraid to tell the truth and he basically governs like a one-term governor. This is rather refreshing as in New Jersey, we are going through many economic challenges and he is not afraid to cover them up or "make nice" of these problems (and to those who caused them) for political expediency. Furthermore, Governor Christie does not blame his predecessor to absolve himself of criticism for the state of the state. Instead, he is rolling up his sleeves and attempting to clean up these problems, despite hostile opponents including the Democrat legislature, the media and the public sector unions. Like Monica Crowley, I believe his actions show leadership!
The Governor is beginning to gain further attention outside of New Jersey as events this week have shown between confronting a heckler in California while on the stump for Meg Whitman, and his partnership with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Mayor Cory Booker, in the interest of the Newark Public Schools.
Governor Christie's leadership has inspired my development of Michael Buonocore in The Calling to Lead, as the two have a similar leadership style, specifically in the areas of speaking common sense and not backing down from a confrontation. Furthermore, their legislative agendas align in many places.
Additionally, I will, in the future, write more about Christie's specific legislative agenda, including my thoughts on his education agenda, but for now, I will include two recent You Tube clips showing some more, as Glenn Beck calls it, "Common Sense Porn."
Thursday, September 23, 2010
"We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."
I have a really big problem with this statement. By using the word absorb, not only does he equate the response to an attack that killed 3,000 Americans to the end result of Bounty paper towels, but he minimizes the loss of life on that day and the loss to the families. As long as they live, the families of those who were killed on September 11 have to deal everyday with the fact that terrorists killed their relatives for nothing more than going to work and going about their regular day. EVERY AMERICAN who saw those towers fall on 9-11 was affected and even if they did not directly know anyone who perished on that day, our piece of mind that we're safe because we're in America died on that day. We are living different lives as a result and that cannot be absorbed! Furthermore, in reading the above quote, it is a bit of an oxymoron as we're not doing everything we can to prevent it, considering Obama is not following the generals' advice on Afghanistan, his change in rules of engagement in Afghanistan, Obama was against a preemptive attack on Iraq and is mishandling the situation in Iran.
By making that statement, Obama shows Americans he is disaffected, out of touch, and not willing to connect to the American people. It is hurtful and every American president from that day on must show compassion to those who were killed by terrorist action. It can never happen again and a leader must realize his words because using the wrong words like this president did could make it terrorism seem allowable and increase the chances of it occurring again.
We all have seen this in recent political history: The October Surprise, an event that due to its groundbreaking or surprising nature, has the ability to throw an election one way or the other. Some may be legit, some are just downright nasty. When you read The Calling to Lead, you will note there are three October Surprises that play into the storyline. In my writing and researching, I studied some of the October Surprises in recent history, as well as other crazy incidents in politics to hit the airwaves. I'll leave you all guessing as to what they are and their effect on the storyline, but in the meantime, here are some of the more notable October surprises.
Peace at Hand, 1972: News broke that then National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger brokered a deal to end American Involvement in the Vietnam War. At a press conference that took place in October of 1972, he stated, "peace is at hand." Talks broke down and military actions resumed, including the Christmas Day bombings, but by January of 1973, the Paris Peace Accords were signed. Peace at hand definitely helped Nixon in his re-election efforts against McGovern as it took a major issue away from him. Combined with this and McGovern's horrible campaign, Nixon was re-elected in a landslide.
Iran Hostage Crisis, 1980: The Iran Hostage Crisis hampered the Carter Administration and was the focus of news coverage for the 444 days it lasted (Nightline originally started as a special news broadcast to cover the hostage crisis). Negotiations failed as did military rescues, most notably Operation Eagle Claw. Both sides thought the opposition would use this hostage crisis as an October Surprise; Carter's camp having a successful military rescue or brokering a last minute deal, or Reagan's camp convincing the Iranians to delay the release past the election. Looking back, I believe that Iran delayed the release to make Carter look like a fool and weaken his stance as President, at the same time embarrassing the United States. The only reason they were released on January 20, 1981 was due to the fact that a new president (Reagan) was more direct than Carter and that they feared what his reaction would be. Therefore, neither camp had any direct influence to release the hostages.
Caspar Weinberger and the Iran-Contra Hearings, 1992: Despite his successes in guiding and leading during Operation Desert Storm, George H.W. Bush's poll numbers took a big hit due to economic challenges at home and Ross Perot was also running as a 3rd Party Candidate. Leading up to the election, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh was investigating those involved in the Iran-Contra Scandal. Walsh announced the indictment of Weinberger the month before the election. In his lame duck period after losing the election, President George H.W Bush pardoned Weinberger. I would argue this October Surprise further damaged Bush 41 in his re-election effort.
George W. Bush DWI, 2000: The week before the election, news broke that in 1976, George W. Bush was arrested for a DWI in Kennebunkport, Maine. It was released to the media by a Democrat Party member in Maine who had prior knowledge about it. This last minute release was meant to embarrass Bush and a last ditch effort at throwing the election to Gore, but while it may have had an effect with some Evangelical Christian voters or Mormon voters, it had no effect on the Florida Recount...we can thank the media for that one, calling Florida for Gore at 7:45, when voters in Pensacola and the panhandle (in the Central Time Zone) still had 15 more minutes to vote.
Forged CBS Documents, 2004: Technically in September, but meant to have stayed in the media until October, CBS Producer Mary Mapes had acquired documents from Bill Burkett, allegedly written by Bush's Commander, Jerry Killian (deceased), claimed in these documents that Bush did not fulfill his commitment to the Air National Guard. This story was aired by Dan Rather on 60 Minutes as an exclusive. As the story circulated, the blog Little Green Footballs examined the documents and came to the conclusion they were forgeries, as a result of an examination of the font style (the documents were in Times New Roman, the default font in Microsoft Word, a font not used in a typewriters during the time the documents were allegedly written.) After media follow-ups and an examination of the font, the documents were proven as forgeries. George W. Bush ended up increasing his plurality and as a result of Dan Rather's constant defense and unwillingness to accept responsibility, he was pushed out at CBS.
Mark Foley, 2006: In October of 2006, it came to light that Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) had sent emails and IMs of a sexual nature to teenage boys who served as Congressional Pages. When the first emails came out, Foley immediately resigned and apologized, but it was later found out that Foley had a pattern of this activity. Foley's Scandal, combined with Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and Randall "Duke" Cunningham's conviction made it easier for the Democrats to pin the moniker "Culture of Corruption" on the Republicans. In that Midterm, the Democrats won both houses of Congress and their inability to defend themselves in light of the scandal(s), combined with the Republican abandonment of Conservatism, contributed to Republican losses.
We are approaching the final month of the 2010 Midterm Election cycle and I will guarantee that a few October surprises will be attempted. Not sure exactly what, but for sure, I'm thinking creatively. Buckle up as these next 40+ days will be a bumpy ride!
UPDATE: Here comes the mud!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The group Citizens for the Republic have released the following ad:
Just as Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" captured not only his accomplishments, but his positive nature, optimistic spirit and how he confidently told Americans "you ain't seen nothing yet," the ad "Mourning in America" captures the uncertain times many Americans are facing as a result of the lack of leadership in Washington. Hopefully this effective and truthful ad gets a lot of play leading up to November.
I love Florida for so many reasons! It's nice to escape the Northeast for warmer pastures during the winters, I have many family and friends down this way and one other important reason: DISNEY!!! But also, Florida is a key state in American politics as over the years, it has become an integral state in determining which party in Washington is the majority. A large and ever-growing state, Florida is a state of political contrasts: the north and the panhandle tend to vote Republican, southwest Florida (below Tampa) tends to vote Republican, south Florida (where a very large percentage of the state's population resides) between Fort Lauderdale and Miami tend to vote Democrat, and Central Florida is up for grabs.
Known as the I-4 Corridor, the highway that cuts across Central Florida from Tampa through Orlando and to Daytona beach is a fascinating region for political scientists to study, not only due to its meteoric growth, but its political patterns. I will include Space Coast region south of Daytona beginning at Titusville to Palm Bay in the I-4 Corridor(as it is considered part of the Orlando Metropolitan Area) of Central Florida. This area of Florida first started to grow when the Kennedy Space Center opened on Cape Canaveral, military installations and the inception of the University of South Florida allowed the Tampa Bay area to grow, but it was the decision by Walt Disney to locate his Florida Walt Disney Resort in an undeveloped area of Southern Orange and Northern Osceola Counties just south of Orlando that cemented Central Florida as a major population center. Disney has continued to grow, spawning competing resorts, and new businesses to serve the ever increasing number of tourists.
As a result of Florida's reputation of a tax haven combined with its climate, new businesses, corporations, individuals and families see Florida as a prime area to locate. Since the 1990s, I have observed the residential growth along I-4 between Orlando and Tampa, as well as the increased traffic level. As a result of these new populations, the voting patterns is this region are not consistent. Historically Republican, the cities of Orlando and Tampa have trended Democrat and the suburban areas are truly swing. North of Orlando is The Villages, a sprawling retirement community that also affects voting patterns of this region.
Examining the recent voting patterns of this region, George W. Bush won the majority of votes in 2000 and 2004, but after the Congressional Midterm elections of 2006, Democrats began to gain a share of the seats and it grew in 2008 as President Barack Obama won a major share of votes in the I-4 Corridor that helped him clinch Florida's electoral votes, despite John McCain's heavy showing in Northern Florida and the northern counties of the Orlando Metro Area. Attempting to cement his victory in Florida and this region, President Obama and the Democrats have highly touted, as well as funded the High Speed Rail Line that will be built between Ybor City (Tampa) and Orlando International Airport, with stops in Lakeland, Disney and the Orange County Convention Center. Despite this upcoming project, it looks as though the politics of the I-4 Corridor are shifting again as we approach the Midterm Election. Unemployment (U3) in the Orlando region is at 11.9%! Central Florida voters also feel abandoned by Washington, especially seniors.
Who will take the hits for this? My belief it that it will be Democrats, especially Congressional Democrats in Central Florida elected since Democrats began to have more of an influence since 2006. Let's look at them.
Alan Grayson: Elected to Congress in 2008, Alan Grayson represents the 8th District of Florida. A trial lawyer and committed liberal, Grayson has heavily supported the Obama Administration from the Health Care Bill to the Stimulus. He is also known for his untrue and over the top rants and outbursts not only on the radio and MSNBC, but in Florida, as this clip shows, in his mission to get attention. His 8th District voters have observed his liberal voting record and heard him flap his big mouth. Opposing Grayson this fall is Daniel Webster, who in addition to being a businessman, has served in the Florida House and Senate.
Suzanne Kosmas: Elected to Congress in 2008, Kosmas represents the 24th District and prior to her service in Congress, she was the owner of a real estate firm and has also served in the Florida House. During her time in Congress, Kosmas fashioned herself as a "Blue Dog Democrat" however, she has walked in lock step with Obama and the Democrats, even going so far as to switching her NO vote to YES on the Health Care Bill. The overall conservative voters of the 24th have been angered by her liberal voting record, as well as her pattern of not attending town hall meetings. Running against Kosmas this fall is Florida Representative Sandy Adams, who according to recent polls, is favored to defeat Kosmas this fall.
I believe that both these incumbents will be defeated. The National Republicans and other organizations are putting high hopes into these two districts and there is already a very convincing ad running in both these districts:
Not only in the I-4 Corridor and on the Space Coast, but throughout the state of Florida, I believe the Republicans will prevail, including the statewide elections of Pam Bondi, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio. Voters have had enough of the lies, liberal agenda, ignoring of their voices and dirty politics. (and are still seeing more of it, as just happened with Allen West)
The I-4 Corridor will forever play a major role in Florida politics as we have seen, so goes this region, goes Florida.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
We've heard Joe Biden speak his opinions on race, forget that handicapped people cannot walk, and drop the f-bomb when children may be watching. We also know he can't spell or count and he also likens the President to Superman. And we cannot forget the arrogant (and untrue) boasting. Yesterday, he showed he doesn't know his Constitution, referring to himself as second in line, as Tweeted by CBS reporter Mark Knoller. (There is no video of it, unfortunately...I will update it if it comes out.)
Somebody get this man a copy of the 25th Amendment. Again, Joe Biden: The gift that keeps on giving!
In the United States, we have a habit of propping up sports figures, allowing that admiration to continue off the field. Sports figures like Phil Simms, Kurt Warner, Brandon Jacobs (despite the helmet incident) and Albert Pujols deserve this admiration, others do not.
As a lifelong Giants fan, one such sports figure that does not deserve this admiration is Tiki Barber. I do not argue his contribution to the Giants and he had a pretty darn good run. (pardon the pun)
When he retired, it seemed like he was on top of the world, had a beautiful family, the admiration of Giants' nation and a budding broadcasting career. It would all turn south very, very fast.
The season after he retired, he began to openly criticize the Giants organization (who gave him his chance in the NFL) and Giants coach Tom Coughlin, claiming his style of coaching forced him to retire,(boo-hoo) and Eli Manning. It continued outside his status as a broadcaster as he used his book tour as a forum to get Coughlin fired, in a year where the Giants were forcing him play out his last year of his contract before making a determination. Classless, disgusting behavior. Do we remember what happened that year?
That's right folks, the GIANTS WON SUPER BOWL 42...WITHOUT TIKI BARBER. Karma was starting to bite back. The Giants were running high, Coughlin was renewed (and refused an interview with Barber...good for him!), Eli eventually was awarded a sweet contract extension and Tiki Barber had no ring!
He continued at NBC on the Today Show and as a contributor to NBC Sports, despite his alleged use of the c-word. Giants fans, for the most part, stopped paying attention to him, but any remaining respect he had went away when it came out that he cheated on his pregnant wife, who he eventually divorced after 11 years of marriage. He was eventually let go from NBC.
Some believe that his broadcasting career didn't live up to the hype, and while I believe it's a possibility, I do believe his on and off air conduct contributed, as everything he has said and done caught up to him; and that is unfortunate as he squandered away his promise and potential. Any hopes he had of getting his Giants jersey number retired or making the Hall is now clearly gone. As Giants fans, we are loyal to the players who give of themselves to the team and because it is such a long and storied organization, these players continue with their loyalties to the Giants after their playing time, whether Phil Simms's act of not participating, as a broadcaster, in the Giants' media pile-ons, Lawrence Taylor crediting the Giants organization with supporting him through troubled times or Frank Gifford's close relationship with the Giants' organization well after his playing career. It is very sad that Tiki Barber squandered that relationship.
Barber is trying to rebound, but if he is to make a true rebound, let's hope he apologizes publicly to those he wronged when he was on top of the world. Realizing who he wronged and taking responsibility toward it would be a step in the right direction.
Monday, September 20, 2010
The first time I heard this, I thought of the above classic sitcom. In terms of this criticism, what a joke! When this news first came of light, many of my friends who are supporting O'Donnell texted me and called me tell me they were worried. I assured them that it will soon come out the accusation was a fraud. And I was proven correct.
First, let's recall who dropped this video: Bill Maher, a comedian who thinks he's a pundit, (but really possesses the on-air characteristics of a 2nd rate game show host) who has one failed show and another show that is only seen by viewers if they subscribe to HBO. Since Bill Maher is going to continue to blackmail Christine O'Donnell and drop out-of-context clips with the intent of damaging her campaign and gaining attention to his fledgling show, let's be reminded why "PI" is off the air:
Seriously, who cares about who Christine O'Donnell dated in high school. I think many of us would look back on who we dated in high school and college and say, "what were we thinking!" I care about how she will vote in the Senate, as I hope the Delaware voters do. When push comes to shove, I'd rather have someone in the Senate who was mature enough to take an introspective analysis of herself and embrace God to bring about a change her life, rather than someone who was a Klansman (and used the N-word in public), plagiarist, cheater, liar (under oath), committed Marxist (who is a tax-hiker), or someone who embraced Anti-American racists and terrorists. Frankly, I think the latter mentions and the fact that many overlook them, are more offensive than anything the media may throw at Christine O'Donnell.
We saw this treatment of Christine O'Donnell reminiscent of what Sarah Palin went through in 2008 during the presidential campaign. It may lead many to ask if the media is sexist as a result of their target of conservative women. Additionally, it may backfire on the left and give O'Donnell the opportunity to gain support.
Like Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell is part of the growing group Gen-Xers who, as I have previously mentioned, have the potential to lead our generation to not only become the 9-11 Generation, but lead the country, restore government's adherence to the Constitution and embrace our American Exceptionalism.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
With the end of the summer comes the NFL season and leading up to this season during the summer, the New York area has been quite the focus. First, both the GIANTS and the Jets, open their co-owned stadium, New Meadowlands Stadium, replacing Giants Stadium, which is now a part of the parking lot (An aside, I will very much miss Giants Stadium. Below is a pic of New Meadowlands Stadium from a hardhat tour I took in February). Second, the Jets have high expectations this season and have been the focus of the media between Hard Knocks, their free agency acquisitions and Rex Ryan's f-bomb laden training camp speeches. The Giants, on the other hand, with their late season collapse, were not as talked about (and are kind of the forgotten child in the NFC East so far) and did not have as high expectations, even though they've had some free agency acquisitions like Antrel Rolle and rookies like Victor Cruz.
Two articles caught my eye this week. The first in the Star-Ledger, compares the leadership styles of Rex Ryan and Tom Coughlin (GIANTS head coach), their styles, results of their styles and who is considered the better coach. Rex Ryan may be dominating the press for now, but Tom Coughlin led the Giants to winning the Lombardi Trophy. The second article is a bit of a hit piece, but still asks some valid questions about where the Jets may be heading after their flat performance on Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens, as well as reaction and ramifications to the Ines Sainz incident.
Both are worth a read and it is only the 1st week of the season, so it remains to be seen how the GIANTS and JETS will do. In my opinion, I believe that both these coaches, while having radically different styles, are strong leaders, (I have always been a fan of Tom Coughlin and was happy the Jets hired Rex Ryan) but we do need to see Ryan win a few. Coughlin is also under the gun after last season's collapse, along with the fact that Cowher may want to get back to coaching. I hope for good things for both teams and think the GIANTS have a good chance at surprising many this season.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
In New Jersey this election cycle, we have a few exciting Congressional campaigns. One such is Jon Runyan, the former Philadelphia Eagle (booo....GIANTS all the way. Sorry Jon, you rock, but not the Eagles.) who is running against freshman Congressman John Adler. The news that broke today in the 3rd was rather disturbing. Apparently, Jon Runyan's daughter and wife found a supporter of John Adler nosing around in Runyan's trees and bushes, around his house with a camera, looking for dirt and at the same time, scaring the bejesus out of Runyan's 8 year old daughter. A former Houston police officer, Runyan's wife handled the situation well, as she called authorities and followed the man back to Adler Headquarters. The campaign was caught red-handed and the moron in question, Fred Sampson, a 64 year old volunteer who is also a Social Worker when he isn't trespassing and fishing for dirt, was charged.
Adler has been criticized for his conduct in the campaign and seeing this play out in a state that knows dirty politics (remember Florio's and the Torricelli-Zimmer campaign in 1996), I am not surprised he would stoop to this level. John Adler, after his first term in Congress wants to stay in power and all 6'9" of Jon Runyan stands in his way. Knowing he cannot clearly articulate his position, Adler resorts to dirty tricks, in this case, sending a volunteer out on a fishing expedition that also involves breaking the law. Adler is showing voters of the 3rd that he will stop at nothing to hold the seat. Do we really want a leader who sends his minions to terrorize a family who has made every attempt to keep their privacy? I already believe Adler is likely to lose, but this incident cements it.
This incident also looks to the bigger issue of why many decide against public service. While those who wish to serve may have good intentions, their names may be dragged through the mud because they are opposing an incumbent, are considered a threat or are attempting to change the status quo of the "Ruling Class." These attacks may disrupt their lives and may hurt their families. We all know this well as we have witnessed the disgraceful treatment of Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign. (And she is not one bit intimidated by these attacks!) We are now seeing the attacks and dirty tricks in New Jersey in the run up to the Midterm election, and with less than 50 days, I believe it will get crazier, so be prepared for a bumpy road.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The big question we see before us in many Republican Primaries this election season is the following: Do we support the "establishment" candidate, who may not agree with us, because they can more easily win, or do we support the candidate who aligns with our views, despite the difficulty of winning? Every time, I have to go with principles. My principles are important to me, whether in politics, personal life or in business. At all costs, principles must be upheld and if I do otherwise, I would compromise my own beliefs and doubt that I could live with myself. (Some of you may claim a double standard as I supported the "establishment" candidate in the GOP NJ-CD6 Primary, but I believed Diane Gooch to be the more conservative candidate, and now that the nominee has been determined, I support Anna Little in the election, but I digress) Politicians or no politicians, I respect people who stand by their principles and think they show strong qualities of leadership. With those who do not, this comes back to bite them in the end, whether in politics or the professional world.
Back to Delaware. Nearly 24 hours after, Christine O'Donnell raised nearly $750,000! Michael Steele and the RNC are supporting her and the NRSC is now supporting her. This is a race and it's turning out to be that her opponent, Chris Coons, once referred to himself as a Bearded Marxist and was called, by Harry Reid his pet. O'Donnell is proving to capably fundraise, needs to have a strong ground game and knock on as many doors as possible. "All politics are local," is the game in Delaware as it's the 2nd smallest state and heavily relies on the Philadelphia media market the same way New Jersey relies on not only Philadelphia's media market, but New York City's. Christine O'Donnell should do well in Kent and Sussex Counties (Delaware's two southern counties), but needs to have gains in New Castle County (location of the 95 corridor and Wilmington/Newark). I will be watching this election closely.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tomorrow will be the 9th Anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, where terrorist barbarians callously attacked this nation, using commercial airliners as missiles to destroy the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon, and attempt to attack the White House or Capitol, but because of the brave souls aboard United Flight 93, that did not happen. On that day, nearly 3000 were killed by those terrorists wishing to do our country harm.
Americans will never forget those who died and were simply going about their lives, as they had done every day before then. Americans will also never forget the sacrifices of our soldiers who stood up to make sure that we never see attacks like this on our soil, ever again! In those days following the attacks, we as a country were reeling, but we held together, had a strong leader guiding us through and rebounded from this act of war committed on our homeland.
This day is also quite culturally significant. Americans believed, prior to this day, that they were protected as a result of geographic location compared to the rest of the world, American strength and stature and a lack of hostile nations since the end of the Cold War. Since that day, we, as a society have become more cognizant of the world around us, our personal safety and our fellow man's personal safety. Even more important, I believe this day has major cultural ramifications that are still yet to come. As I have previously blogged about, this day will force Americans, particularly Gen-Xers, who were just starting their lives on 9-11-01, to rise up and lead, so that they may be the protectors of our values, history and way of life. Personally, living through this day and the subsequent events, inspired me to write The Calling to Lead, using my belief that Gen-Xers will transform into the "9-11 Generation" that will rise to lead this nation, as a backbone to the story.
Tomorrow, I ask you to take a moment out of your day to privately reflect and/or pray for those lost and those who have given of themselves to protect our nation since that day.
May God Bless those lost, the families of those lost and the United States of America!
Welcome back and enjoy your stay!