Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Down to the final four madness and it's not even March

You have to give props where they are deserved, and Jon Stewart gets one and a gold star to boot.

He was commenting on the State of the Union in general and the robot-like response delivered by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas. He showed a clip of Sebelius ending her soliloquy by inviting everyone to get some sleep, to which Stewart cracked that we were far ahead of her in sleeping. Somebody should have changed her batteries before she went on. Even her mouth motions looked like those of an animated character. The Democrats have to do better than that.

She followed the last (thank heaven) message by Bush, who basically showed he was still in never-never land. He and Rudy Giuliani are the best national examples of self-deceivers alive today.

So, now there are four. Rudy and John Edwards dropped out Wednesday (Jan. 30, 2007), leaving the GOP with two real candidates and the Democrats with two. Forget Mike Huckabee - there aren't enough born-agains who vote only on the basis of their religious beliefs to make any real difference for him.

So it's John McCain and Mitt Romney for the GOP and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barak Obama for the Democrats.

Speaking of Obama, I can't help but chuckle that he has been basing his campaign on change from the Washington insiders and then happily collects an endorsement from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the chief of the entrenched Washington insiders. Throw in a "me, too" from Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the ultimate Washington icon, JFK, and you have a typical political double-take.

I covered Hillary Monday in Hartford for the New Haven Independent and was treated to a close-up view of this fine mind clicking over. I had met her a couple of years ago at some Westchester County function and I still think she's the genuine article as far as intellect is concerned. She and her husband are about the brightest minds among those who offer themselves upon the altar of politics.

I've talked to folks to survived Mitt Romney's governorship in Massachusetts, and not many have anything good to say about him. As some NPR commentator said yesterday, one doubts that many Republicans and any Democrats want to have a high-powered businessman watching over the morals of the nation.

Still, I'm not going to stick my neck out and endorse anyone (who would care anyway) until after tomorrow's debates.

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In the comments to my story on Hillary, a person called TRUEBLUECT early this morning (another member of the royal order of the night people - remember that one from the 60s?) posted the following comment:

One should kindly ask Mr. Honeyman if he still backs Joe Lieberman. Sadly Senator (Joseph I.) Lieberman is going against his word, and very actively campaigning to get not Hillary, but a Republican, elected as our 44th President.

Mr. Honeyman is one of the good guys, but I feel, given the circumstances, this is an extremely fair question. Will he answer?

Yes, he will answer TBCT. Yes, it is an extremely fair question and I thank you for caring what I think. It's nice to know that one's writing is not an exercise howling into the wind. (I could have used another expression, but this blog is still rated PG.)

My problem is I'm not sure. Let's work this out together.

I supported Lieberman because I knew him to be a fair and honest man, one of the few in Washington. I also know that Ned Lamont, his opponent, was a political babe in the woods, a product of DNC head Howard Dean and his brother, Jimmy, who found Lieberman not to their left-wing liking, squiring Lamont around the Jefferson-Jackson-Bailey dinner in Hartford as Barak Obama was telling the crowd that Lieberman was the better choice. Lamont would have been eaten alive in the Senate.

But what does Joe do? He says he's a Democrat, but comes out for McCain, even though he had said he wouldn't endorse anyone until later in the campaign.

So, we have Joe Lieberman who is good for getting Connecticut great stuff through those earmarks that Bush keeps ranting about, but Lieberman who is all but a traitor to his party. It's tough.

I think, TBCT, that I would have to come down harder on the side of the Lieberman who is still fighting for Connecticut's best interests and Israel's best interests (that's a biggie for me) than against the Lieberman who has gone against his word and his party. But it's a near thing, certainly not more than few points. Joe, I'm watching you, boy.

I hope that answers your question, TBCT. And thanks for posing it.

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Last night, we (wife and friends) traveled to Stamford to see a really nice film about Pete Seeger, the legendary singer, songwriter and fighter for all kinds of causes from cleaning up the Hudson River to stopping the war (he's added a couple of verses to an anti-Vietnam war song to fit the Iraq war.) His grandson and the director of the movie were there as well, taking questions from the audience.

A few things I didn't know that I learned from the movie. Seeger served in the Army in World War II and spent the war fixing airplane engines and leading sing-alongs. He was blacklisted for 17 years in the 1940s and 50s Red Scare and only brought back onto television through the intervention of the Smothers Brothers. He left the Weavers over a television ad for cigarettes that the singing group was doing. Seeger lived in New York's Greenwich Village before moving to Beacon, N.Y., to a cabin he built himself that had neither running water nor heat.

Anyway, the film is scheduled to be broadcast on PBS in February. It's well worth watching, even among the ubiquitous PBS begging.

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I'm glad that the New York Mets have snagged pitcher Johan Santana. The Boston Red Sox and the hated New York Yankees had pursued the excellent pitcher, but I think it would have cost the Sox too much in talent. Jacoby Ellsbury is just to talented a guy to give up for a one-season pitcher. Jon Lester is also staying put.

It's only a couple of weeks until pitchers and catchers. I'm glad my wife doesn't read this blog, because she is sports-adverse (she grew up in a household where her father and brother were really sports nuts and this adversity is a natural reaction) and thinks the Super Bowl will end the sports watching for a while. She forgets about UConn basketball (men and women). I usually don't like pro basketball, but when you have a team with fewer than 10 losses near the midpoint of the season, it's unusual enough to be interesting.

Please don't tell her about pitchers and catchers.

Until next time...

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