Hi there. You must have thought I'd finally gone away.
Well, I almost did. I was never so sick in my life as I was a couple of weeks ago. The week after that, my step-mother took sick in Maryland and the trip with three grandchildren, one daughter and my wife turned into a hospital visit instead of the planned show-ma-the-great-grandkids visit.
Anyway, Ralph Nader, the man who shows us that a life can have both very good and very nutty in it, is off on his quadrennial ego trip again.
Eight years ago, the votes he collected in Florida made the race tight enough so Bush could steal it. Of course, Ralphie said there was no difference between Bush and Al Gore. He may believe that. The difference, however, between himself and the other four dozen people in the nation who believe that is that he isn't confined to an asylum for the mentally challenged.
As you all no doubt know, Ralph Nader started out life as a real consumer advocate. His seminal work, "Unsafe at Any Speed," no doubt saved lives by drawing our attention to rattle-traps that exploded on impact and caused untold misery.
A decade or so ago, I was saddened to note that Ralph's ego had taken over and he was now shilling for ambulance-chasers. I ran into him at an insurance convention and was able to tell him of my disappointment in a career that started out so wonderfully. Tears ran down my cheeks as I lambasted him.
After his performance in 2000 and also in 2004, when he didn't send the election to Bush, he has chutzpah to run again. He takes no responsibility for the mess this nation is in now. Ralphie is just living in his own head. Fortunately, the poor misguided souls who backed him in 2000 aren't around to help him today.
One hopes that nobody will send him money and he will just go quietly back inside his head.
Speaking of living in his own head, Barack Obama is upset because Matt Drudge has trotted out a 2006 Associated Press photo of him in native Kenyan dress. Maybe it's the headdress that might look like one that a Muslim might wear.
Mr. Obama, sir, you of the consummate ego and haughty expression, let me direct your attention to the hundreds, even thousands of photos extant of presidential candidates in all kinds of costumes. Start with Silent Cal Coolidge in a full-feathered American Indian headdress. You seem to pattern yourself after John F. Kennedy -- I seem to remember him in cowboy hat and other headgear.
Candidates have to kiss babies, eat strange foods and wear weird costumes. What are you going to do if you win and have to make a trip to Kazakhstan and some little kid presents you with some kind of headgear?
It's not a put-on. Be proud of your heritage. Your dad was Kenyan? Embrace it.
By the way, Obama's people accused the Clinton camp of leaking the photo to Drudge and said it was a nasty thing to do. I hope the Clintons weren't part of any Obama's-a-Muslim campaign. But that's mild compared to what the GOP rat-f**kers are cooking up for the Democratic nominee. Get used to it or get out. No, it's not the way the game should be played, but in the political big leagues, it's the way it is played.
Here's another Len's Lens unsolicited endorsement. I received no consideration for the following.
During our trip last week to see my step-mother, we stayed at the Summerfield Suites in Gaithersburg, Md. We took a two-bedroom suite and there was plenty of room for my wife and I, my daughter and her three children, ranging in age from 6 years to 7 months old.
We had a full-sized fridge, three televisions, two bathrooms, two king-sized beds and a studio couch. The place served a hot buffet breakfast, put a newspaper in front of your door each morning and the service was possibly the best ever.
Hear this: With kids, you need to take a break from hospital visits, so we headed for Washington, D.C. Since people have spent their entire adult lives looking for a parking space in D.C., we took the metro. The hotel provided a free shuttle service, complete with installing three child seats in their van, took us to the Metro station and picked us up later with the child seats reinstalled in the van. All we had to do was call from a couple of Metro stations away and the van was waiting when we arrived.
Bravo, Summerfield Suites.
To those who are reading this, thank you for keeping watch. I will try to be more consistent in the future.