Friday, October 29, 2004
The Saudi born mastermind of the 9/11 said, “Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in Mr. Ralph Nader.”
This came as no surprise to many political analysts since Nader, being of Lebanese descent, was the only candidate of any Middle Eastern ancestry.
Later in the taped video, bin Laden inexplicably voiced displeasure with the Red Sox first World Series victory in 86 years.
“Fuck, man! I had twenty on St. Louis!”, he continued, “Edmonds and Rolen went 1-for-30 in the series, man! May their first-born male suckle the hairy tit of Ronald McDonald, my friend."
Homeland Security Chief, Tom Ridge announced no intention of raising the color-coded terrorist alert to orange in the cities of Boston or St. Louis.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
This is Jason Tracey, the self-proclaimed "All Day Jay Tray, pictured on the right. Has anyone seen him? He hasn't written a blog since August 23rd.
I'm feeling a bit like Ross Perot lately. Why? I've been touting this underground revolution known as the Wonderbread Blogging Network and like Perot's near defunct Reform Party; the Network is crumbling.
I'm asking everyone to contact Jason and encourage him to continue writing. Here's his contacts:
>>1-800-I've Got A Girlfriend And I'm Whupped or
>>jaytray.blogspot.com or leave a message on this posting.
President..........John Kerry/John Edwards
U.S. Senator.....Barbara Boxer
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 can (14oz) Artichoke hearts
1 cup Grated parmesan cheese
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
pepper to taste
1-2 sourdough baguettes
Drain canned artichoke hearts and puree in a blender. Combine all four ingredients in a earthenware bowl or pyrex dish. Season with pepper to taste. Place in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
Slice the baguettes into 1/4 inch slices and serve with dip.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
The 100th World Series begins tonight in Boston. Is this the year that the Red Sox and actually all the inhabitants of New England shake the dreaded Curse of the Bambino? Nope.
What is the Curse of the Bambino? Dan O'Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe wrote a book about 20 years ago placing the anguish of the Boston Red Sox on the fact that they have not won the World Series since trading away Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Afterwards he became the guy who hit 714 home runs and had candy bars named after him. The Red Sox have not won the World Series since 1918 while the Yankees have won 26 times.
Boston's opponent, the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League boasts the Majors most complete team. They hit for power, for average, have solid starting pitching and the best bullpen in the Series.
More people seem to be dwelling on the Yankees; the team that is no longer playing instead of the Cardinals, who won 105 games this season, most in the majors.
Face it, the Red Sox Nation has already won what they desire--finally beating the Yanks. A letdown versus the more formidable Cardinals is inevitable. As the Redbirds showed in the NLCS, they can hit the longball. Boston's Green Monster in left field will be making Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Larry Walker and Jim Edmonds salivate.
We can go through all the stats and analyze every possible strategy but facts remains that the Red Sox reach their height of greatness just before the actually crowning of a championship.
The Curse is real.
Aside from its place in the annals of sports lore, the tale of the distraught people of New England and their cursed baseball club is some of the finest mythological stories of our time. Do you want to see the great story of the Curse Of the Bambino to end?
If you think the Red Sox will win, then within this great tale, who will be the man who slays the ghost of Babe Ruth? What man on the Red Sox roster was destined from the day of his birth to the ball field he first suited up in Little League to be mentioned in the same breath with the most famous New Englanders of all-time? Would you put Curt Schilling, Johnny Damon or David Ortiz next to Paul Revere, Nathanial Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau and John Quincy Adams?
I think it's more plausible to place Albert Pujols next to Stan Musial and Bob Gibson as one of the greatest Cardinals ever rather than tackle 400 years of regional history in one series.
Cardinals in seven with the most agonizing ending possible for the Olde Towne Team.
49ers....this will be the Niners best game of the year; they have a bye this week. Good job.
Ravens over Bills...It seemed like this could an opportunity for the Bills to make it two straight. Baltimore has been inconsistent and will be missing Jamal Lewis for the next two weeks. I don't know exactly what's wrong with Buffalo through six weeks. I suspect they haven't gelled with their new coach, Mike Mularkey
Chargers over Panthers...The Bolts sink the Raiders further into last place. I guess Schottenheimer is going to just close his eyes and stand behind LaDainian Tomlinson until he can run no longer.
Patroits over Jets...My Super Bowl pick--the Jets--will not pick up a road win in Foxboro. The Pats' win streak will be the only good news when the Sox are down 0-2 in the World Series.
Eagles over Browns...Philly goes 6-0, but this will be their toughest test. Garcia and the Brownies are getting it done, but Terrell Owens will be running even more quickly when worrying about Jeff Garcia pinching his ass.
Bucs over Bears...Tampa looked so much better last Monday with Brian Griese. The Bucs D should be able to make some plays on Bears' QB Jonathan Quinn.
Seahawks over Cards...The Jerry Rice Era begins in Seattle. Pretty sad peope are assigning "New Era" tags on fourth-string receivers.
The Pack over Cowboys...Favre & Co. got back on track last week and a home win at Lambeau seems very likely; their first of the season.
Chiefs over Falcons...Chiefs by a field goal. Priest Holmes should be able to run all day because they're not throwing the ball against the vaunted Falcons pass rush. Michael Vick still hasn't grasped the West Coast Offensive; nontheless, they're 5-1, folks.
Giants over Lions...The Gints will continue to pad their 4-1 record by luck. Look for a huge collapse during the second half of the season.
Colts over Jaguars...The Colts are throwing up points even without Marvin Harrison. Jags' QB Byron Leftwich has shown he can play effectively when he doesn't have his best stuff. Another high scoring Indy game.
Vikes over Tits...Right now, Dante Culpepper is throwing up numbers on par with Dan Marino's record-breaking 1984 season. The Titans have problems against the pass. This equation bodes well for Minny.
Broncos over Bungles...Oh, now they're the Bungals! The flavor of the month drops so quick on the LFR. Starting Carson Palmer so early may not translate to win this season, but he still has shown moments of greatness.
SUNDAY TICKET SUNDAY STANDINGS
MILTON I....44/86 (51%)
MILTON II...44/86 (51%)
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Polls have always fluctuated and are meant just to gauge the political winds, but this election season has seen some roller coaster poll numbers. Quite literally, competing news organization tout headlines that read, "Bush up by 8 points," while the same day another reports a dead heat.
The poll methodologies are clearly flawed with the Gallup poll seemingly on another planet. So, what's the problem?
Polling organizations are failing to account for a very different political landscape and attitude while not including changes in the way people live.
We are a country divided like no other time since the early 1900s and polling services like Gallup and Zogby have not changed with the times.
These wild fluctuations are occuring because these polls do not include first time voters or registered voters with cellphone as their only telephone. Across the country states are reporting huge increases in voter registration. A recent Democracy Corp poll, which incidently is the only poll that includes new voters, gave John Kerry a 50-47 lead over George W. Bush.
Sidney Blumenthal reports in salon.com today that seven percent of the Democracy Corp sample included new voters and they indicated new voters would vote for Kerry 61-37.
Such a large difference in new voters voting for the challenger would be expected. 400,000 new voters in the battleground state of Ohio and 100,000 newly-minted voters in just Philadelphia alone are not filling out voting cards to keep the incumbent in office. Blumenthal concludes correctly that success for Kerry will depend on the old political science axiom: because there are more Democrats than Republicans; higher voter turnout always equals a victory for the left. So, in the big electoral college scheme of things, where does this leave us?
Pundits expect that the winner of two out of three states that include Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida will become president. With the onslaught of new voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania and the revelation in Sunday's New York Times Magazine that Bush will radically change social security if he wins a second term, may tip Florida's senior citizens to a sweep for Kerry.
Of course, all this could be moot when Bush rustles up Osama for a surprise photo op.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Possibly inspired by the Halloween season, African-Americans in Florida are now donning white people masks to avoid having their votes thrown out.
Incidently, some African-American voters wearing Bill Clinton masks' didn't even make it to polls but were seen nearby getting busy in a Burger King bathroom.
Tom Junod writes with a richness and tone in his feature pieces that I have yet to come close to mimmicking. His appreciation piece about Mister Roger's ranks as one of the greatest articles in the venerable magazine's history.
Of course, I will never forget reading Jake Tapper's daily articles for Salon.com during the 2000 election. I have yet to read a reporter who is so adept at keeping the reader as riveted as Tapper's writing did for me four years ago. Why Jake are you wasting your talents at ABC News? You've went from writing beautiful prose to being their fact-checker during the past debates.
And now, The New York Times' Frank Rich has become my idol. Every Sunday, he cranks out informative columns teeming with such intensity and purpose, yet comes across honest and most notably thorough in his arguments. His view of our country is so clear and unfilitered that it almost seems false when matched against all the disinformation cable television and the corporate-owned networks spew.
Last Sunday's article titled, "Will We Need a New 'All the President's Men'?" [section2, p. 1] again captured all that is wrong with our current adminstration in Washington and their war against the media and placed it square against Nixon and the Watergate scandal.
Will this article be particularly prescient in the coming year? Rich writes:
"Our current presidency is now showing symptoms of a precancerous Watergate syndrome--as it is, daily--we have not yet reached that denouement immortalized by Hollywood, in which our scrappy heroes finally bring Nixon to heel in his second term. No we're back instead in the earlier reels of his first term, before the criminality of the Watergate break-in, when no one had heard of Woodward and Bernstein."
Rich goes on to compare the eerily similar situations of Nixon's Vietnam and Bush's Iraq:
Back then an arrogant and secretive White House, furious at the bad press fueled by an unpopular and mismanaged war, was still flying high as it kneecapped with impunity any reporter or news organizatioon that challenged its tightly enforced message of victory at hand."
What Frank Rich seems to do each week is to force out questions don't seem to be a part of the article but seemingly pop into your head. It's scary that the Bush adminstration has lifted so many tactics from Richard Nixon against the press. The question is: Who will be the next Woodward and Bernstein?
The media landscape in the early 70s was much different than it is today. Back in Nixon's era, just three network news divisions ruled television. It's debatable whether they had much autonomy in their reporting, but be assured none resembled anything close to today's Fox News. Newspapers back then were free of any media consolidation and thus more independent in their reporting.
It is safe to say that the next Woodward and Bernstein will not emerge from the current media conglomerates. Nowadays, independent news and thinking rules the internet. The internet will be the source of these stories of corruption and treason. These exposes will not arise from bloggers or amateurs on the net, though, but from an online 'zines such as Salon.com.
The problem is will a site like Salon.com be able to crack the headlines of corporate owned newspapers and TV network?
In March of this year, Salon.com reported with little fanfare, a scandal at an Iraqi prison named Abu Ghraib where American soldiers were rumored to be torturing Iraqi inmates. Readers of Salon.com waited nearly a month and a half to hear anything about this story on the national scene. It wasn't until 60 Minutes II had pictures that anyone took noticed.
Be careful of the media. They are not telling you everything you need to know. It's not hidden; keep looking for it.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Everybody knows that Anna is either a witch or a punk rocker for Halloween. This year it seems she will be dressing up a a deranged Betty Boop.
Once again, Anna returned to her home in Washington state without saying goodbye. All of us would to say, "Anna no my friend!"
Since my campaign consists of no volunteers, no supporters, no money and one garish green suit I figure my only chance would be to capture Osama bin Laden before George Bush does.
Unfortunately, as you can see in the photo, Osama's no bin Hiding in Egypt. I'm off with my camel Humpty Hump. See you at the polls!
Sunday, October 17, 2004
During third quarter of today's 31-3 rout of the Raiders by their division rivals--the Denver Broncos--someone was injured. Let me refer you to my July 21, 2004 posting titled, "The Curse of the Portugee" where I put a hex on my upstairs neighbor, Doug Gabriel. I did not, though, foresee the irony of the injury.
Many of you know, that between playing hard and being out of shape, I pulled my hamstring very badly while playing softball. So bad, that it caused a huge hematoma all over my left leg.
Who would have guess that old Dougie would come up limp with exactly the same injury. During the third quarter, Gabriel ran a deep pattern down the left side of the field. Raiders' QB Kerry Collins overthrew him but while diving for the errant pass television replays show him favor his left leg. Shortly afterward TV audiences saw Gabriel on the trainers' table clutching his left hammy.
Hey Doug, maybe you and I should take long walks together to Chinatown or something. Maybe if you didn't stomp your feet on my ceiling your hamstring wouldn't have been as weak.
Remember, though, he did win the popular vote so he did get some things right. One of them was the constant pressing of populist themes pitting the common man versus "The Man". These themes such as medicare, social security and jobs are winners in places like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan West Virginia and Pennsylvania. States that will be crucial to victory on electioon day.
But, since the debates ended last Wednesday, the Kerry team has began to weave a strain of fear-mongering that is stolen right out of the Bush playbook.
Basically, fear is all that the Bush is running on from Dick Cheney threatening another terrorist attack if Kerry wins to Bush linking Kerry with Osama bin laden by using the same line for both, "You can run, but you can't hide."
Why now is Kerry dressing up for Halloween as George W.? He's in Ohio and Florida telling people that a vote for Bush will lead to their teenage sons being drafted. He's also warning people about a "January surprise" where the Bush adminstration would try to privatize social security.
There is great substance to what Kerry is claiming, but do we need to lower ourselves to dirty Lee Atwater-esque Republican dirty tricks?
Please stay with the populist themes. It won Gore the popular vote even with a bumbling campaign team. With Kerry's more savvy bunch the Democrats can win both the popular vote and the electoral college.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
I was once a terrorist. This is a picture of me with my posse, the Linguica Liberation Jihad.
How can John Kerry and George Bush tell you they can realistically fight terrorists? They've never had to wonder where their next mouthful of thick, rich goat's milk will come from? They probably buy their goat's milk from over-priced chain stores, like Trader Joe's. Do they really understand the terrorist mind? Has anyone ever noticed that there is very little Arab or Muslim music readily available on the web? Wouldn't it make YOU mad if you couldn't download your favorite new songs? Then what about Mohammad, who works for 3 cents a day slaving (maybe smoking?) in the opium field all day long, can't he come home and download some Cat Stevens? This what I'm talking about America! The Arab world is seething and I know their pain: Top quality goat milk and free downloads of Cat Stevens.
I'll see you at the polls and don't forget I'm not only against a "global test" as John Kerry espouses but I'm the only candidate against a "glow ball test" for men's prostates.
I may be late to the dance, but I'm ready to boogie! Who's with me? Look at that crowd. Check out the African-American man holding up my sign. His face is saying, "This is the next Jesse Jackson" or "free hamburgers!"...and he would be right.
See you at the polls and don't forget Poland, either.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Cardinals over Whiners...What seemed like a possible victory for S.F. turns into a tough home game. Arizona is starting to peak.
Falcons over Lions...Hot-lanta go to 5-0 for the first time in franchise history.
Texans over Vikings...Tejanos may become one of the this season's early surprises. I like how they ruined our party last week by whupping da Raidahs. Texans have such egos. Why not call the Vikes the Minnesota Minnesoteans? Oakland Californians?
Patroits over Dolphins..Is Don Shula kidding me? Are you kidding me? Miami just might beat the Pats? A Dolphins' upset may be a precursor to Jeb Bush rigging the Florida vote.
Browns over Steelers...Pitt QB Ben Roethlisberger must think this NFL thing is a piece of cake as does svelt RB Jerome Bettis. They guys has like 5 TDs and 6 yards gained.
Cowboys over Giants...Even though I'm now sporting a Kurt Warner style beard, I think the Gints are lucky to be 3-1 and the 'Boys "D" to quick for Tiki Barber.
Saints over Bucs...I know it's amazing, but the Bucs will go 0-5. If you squint hard enough you can see them wearing those attrocious pumpkin orange and red unis.
Jets over Bills...Jets continue to stay even with the Pats. Bills continue to be the only team in New York.
Chargers over Jags...The Jags' defense will stop LaDainian, but the Hard Chargers are clicking right now..here it comes: I love that beautiful Qualcomm turf.
Seahawks over Rams...Hawks seem to be able to force turnovers...Bulger seems to be able to throws them.
Broncos over Panthers...
Ravens over Redskins...The Battle of the Beltway is a yawner. I'd rather watch Dick Cheney play Twister with John Edwards.
Pack over Tits...There's something about Brett...Favre on Monday Night.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
She is the toughest person that I have ever known. You wouldn't know it though and that's the intriguing thing about her.
I want to thank my mother for some things:
Those who know my Mother, know her as a very kind and happy woman. My friend at work (who incidentally is also 50 today, Happy Birthday, bro!) always says, "Your Mom is a babe!" He's right.
I always tell women that I date that my Mom is the dream mother-in-law. She doesn't judge anyone and is always supportive. She might not verbalize her dislike of some things I do, but she let's me work through them and her support has always been valuable to me.
Thank you for giving me a normal American middle name. Thank you for teaching me skills like ironing, cooking, cleaning and washing clothes so I could become a independent man. Thank you for buying me that $38 aluminum baseball bat and telling Dad it only cost $20. Thank you for not being able to catch me and Suzie when we did something wrong. You were never able to maneuver around that coffee table to spank us, were you? Thank you for opening the trunk when Dad locked himself in it while fixing a light.
No thanks for always trying to sneak onions into your meatloaf. No thanks for trying to trick us into believing marshmallow creme could be a viable substitute for the real thing in Rice Krispies treats. No thanks for always being the last parent to pick me up from baseball practice. Just kidding.
Of course, there's more to my Mom than those memories.
When I was around 8, my Mom took me down to the park and hit fly balls to me. With a small aluminum bat she would hit a tennis ball over and over to me. It comes to no surprise that when I played Little League baseball up until 17 years of age, it was a rarity for me to ever fumbled a pop fly. Mother, I might need your help again. I had a tough season in centerfield this year.
Thank you for teaching me everything you know about cooking. In fact, my desire to learn came in my teenage years when I started disliking not her food, but her menu selections. I wanted to make spaghetti one day. She taught me the mundane fundamentals of browning the hamburger and simmering the sauce while timing its preparation with a nice al dente noodle. When I prepare any of my Mom's recipes success is always judged on the memory of her perfect creations.
Thank you for showing me how toughness is truly exhibited. About six years ago, doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. At the time, it seemed as if she was shielding us from the seriousness of her surgery. It seemed to happen very quickly. Maybe she didn't want us to worry or maybe she was girding herself up for battle with this disease. I don't know. Within a few days we were visiting her in the hospital. I will never forget seeing her in that hospital bed. She didn't look tired and haggard after the surgery but strong and resolute. I saw pain on her face, though, that I had never seen before. I also saw the strength that I have come to know in my Mom.
There was a small, buzzer-like contraption next to her bed. Sort of like what contestants on Jeopardy might use. The button allowed the patient to release small amounts of morphine to battle any discomfort. My Mom never pushed that button even in her unmistakable pain. The nurse walked in and told her, "We don't give medals for bravery."
When Suzie was ill this same type of resolute strength was indispensable. On one of those first nights Suzie was in the hospital in a coma I had already begun to learn to emulate my Mom's toughness. The two of us sat around Kaiser's ICU believing in Suzie's recovery. As we walked to the parking lot, my Mom and I stopped and said goodbye for the night. At that point, we both broke down in each others embrace and said the same thing. "Suzie's tough, She'll get through this." My Mom believed it, I believed it and Suzie believed it. The fight that my sister put up against Lupus came out of the quiet tenacity that our Mom has taught us by example.
Even when Suzie passed away she didn't back away. She knew there was way too much work to be done and her positive attitude has lead us to a very healthy and happy future.
I hope I can be as heroic as you are for my own children. Thank you for being my Mother.
Happy Birthday Mom. I love you very much.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
His website, www.rodney.com posted this quip as its "Joke of the Day":
"I tell ya I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetary plot. The guy said, "There goes the neighborhood!"
From all who ever made another chuckle, we collectively raise our hands, touch our thumb to our index finger and finally offer you "One of these."
Saturday, October 02, 2004
I was at today's debacle with my good friend, Jason. Brilliant! Bring all your friends and family together in a Skybox and enjoy all the good times of watching the A's blow their division lead on the next to last day of the season. Hey, Tracer, rent a Skybox at the mortuary for my funeral so you can fill your belly with polish sausage and popcorn while I peacefully rest. "Let's Go Steve-O".
I have no ill will towards the Anaheim Angels. None. Never, ever will I fault the Halos. They have done more for me than any baseball team possibly could. They won the World Series in 2002; denying the Giants of winning their first title in 48 years. I am forever indebted to what the Angels did for me two years ago.
To this day, I can still yell at Giants fans, "What? Huh? What? Win a World Series Asshole!" or "How many rings do you have? We've got four, Asshole!" or "Hey, old man! You're about 50 years old, right? How does it feel to never enjoy being a winner? Loser! Oh, yeah. Asshole!" and, of course there is, "Excuse me, I had amnesia in 1989. Who played in the World Series and who won? Oakland in four games, Asshole!"
So both of our Bay Area teams lost heartbreaking games to their SoCal rivals. Not only do they beat our teams but they steal our water and give us cinematic gems like "Jason vs. Freddy" and "Waterworld". "Fahrenheit 9/11" was good though.
Anyway, let me take us back to a simpler time. Picture it: April 2004. Steve-O says: Angels and Dodgers in the World Series.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Raidahs over Texans...The Kerry Collins era has begun. Oaktown needs this one before taking on Denver and Indy.
Bengals over Steelers...If Cincy is for real, they're going to have to stuff Pitt. Palmer and Chad Johnson have big days.
Jaguars over Colts...Defense wins. I'm almost believing in the Jags' D. Indy can't stop anybody, but their scoring can be limited.
Packers over Giants...Easy math: Giants will not go 3-1 and Green Bay will not go 0-2 at Lambeau.
Eagles over Bears...This will be a bad weekend in Chi-Town. The Cubs blow the wildcard and the Bears founder against Philly.
Redskins over Browns...Last Monday, Joe Gibbs looked as befuddled as George Bush in last night's debate. The Browns won't be able to contain Clinton Portis.
Broncos over Bucs...The sad-sack 2002 champs cannot score and the defense looks confused. Def. Coordinator, Monte Kiffin was called a genius two years ago. The slide from genius to out of a job is steep. Right, Jonny Gruden.
Jets over Dolphins...Since I like to trash the Fish and have told ever soul that the Jets, J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets! are going to win the Super Bowl; this one's a no-brainer.
Titans over Chargers...Once again, that beautifully manicured Qualcomm turf is mentioned. This should be a good game. Titans win late.
Cardinals over Saints...Upset special. I think Arizona is due to show some promise and it starts now with a Saints team that is overhyped.
Falcons over Panthers...Michael Vick cannot be stopped, he can only be contained, but he can also be injured.
Rams over Niners....Now the whole country can witness the complete and utter demise of the 49ers.
Chiefs over Ravens...Somehow the Chiefs will get it done. The Ravens are too up and down for me to feel comfortable.
SUNDAY TICKET SUNDAY STANDINGS
Steve........Last week: 10/14...Season Tot: 27/44...61%
Julian......................... 7/14.................... .24/44...55%
Milt Sr........................ 8/14..................... 22/44...50%
Milt Jr......................... 5/14..................... 18/44...41%
Bobby........................ 4/14..................... 15/44...34%
The jury wasn’t called into the courtroom until almost 11:00 am. The Sheriff was late in transporting the defendant from jail.
The defense attorney, Mr. Bloom offered his opening statement. To my surprise, Mr. Bloom completely conceeded all the assault charges. On a hastily drawn up chart, he laid out the charges and color-coded each charge as followed:
Red: “No Doubt”
Green: “No Way”
Blue: “Not Certain”
He flatly circled "assault" in red; “no doubt.” The charges of threatening harm or death and kidnaping were in green; “no way”. Coersion and threat of bodily harm with a knife were circled in blue; “not certain”.
He also brought up the idea that the defendant, Zameer Azam, may have been under the influence of drugs in these intstances of rage. This might be the beginning of an insanity plea that was mentioned yesterday. He also referred to an Amber Alert that was called on August 30, 2003 when they had merely attended a family barbeque. Azam is accused of forcing Bascom to change her story to the police on this trip.
Our job now seems to be whether the prosecution can prove the allegations of threats, kidnapping and whether the restraining orders were indeed broken.
The victim, Jennifer Bascom, was our first witness. She was tall and petite wore a short-skirted business suit, stylized messy hair and dark eye shadow. She was very attractive. To me, she had the ominous look of Nicole Simpson. Maybe it was the breast implants.
When she walked into the courtroom, I noticed that the defendant gave her a look; a once-over, up and down. In her testimony, she said she loves Mr. Azam and I noticed that during a sidebar with the lawyers and judge that Ms. Bascom shot a long, loving gaze towards Mr. Azam. Would she take him back again? I’m sure of it.
Her testimony basically mirrored what the prosecutor stated the day before. She described the beatings and her habit of continually keeping him in her life.
There is no doubt as to what happened in regards to the assault. I would believe her even if there were no photos or witnesses. Otherwise, I felt she was leaving facts out or conveniently having no recollections of horrific events.
On Aug. 26, 2003, she told Azam not to come over one evening because she was tired. He still came over and apparently knocked on the door for some time. When she finally opened the door he was in a rage because he believed somebody else was in the house. After the initial beatings, he came at her again saying, “who’s bottle of Curve (a men’s cologne) is on top of the refrigerator?”
It doesn’t seem to have any bearing as to whether she deserved to be beaten if, say, she had another guy in her house. The beatings could never be justified.
Bascom says she had no idea what he’s talking about. Was it was made up? I’m wondering whether the defense will offer any lurid accusations towards Ms. Bascom. She might be a high-priced call girl.
An important point was made in cross-examination by defense attorney, Brian Bloom. On the night of November 1st (the final assault), an Officer Marconi filed a report signed by Ms. Bascom that has no mention of a knife being used to threaten her that evening. Ms. Bascom claimed that she verbally mentioned the fact after the officer had read it back to her and she signed it. Might the knife and the subsequent threat of “I could easily kill you right now” be bogus?
Next: The prosecution will wrap up examining Ms. Bascom and possibly be cross-examined by the defense.
John Kerry won because he looked so very presidential. What does that mean exactly? Reporters and pundits like to use the word "gravitas" to describe what Kerry exhibited last night. By the way, I've never read or heard this word in any arena other than politics. Gravitas refers to someone with high seriousness; dignity; importance.
Kerry showed us all of that. He stood tall and confident on the stage in Coral Gables. When Bush leveled one of his convolated charges the networks split screen allowed us to simulataneously see Kerry interrupt his note-taking and slowly raise his head and glare at the President. There was no evidence of a sneer or ill-will in Kerry's demeanor, but moreso a boxer who accepted a good punch but had an even better one planned.
Bush did many things to accentuate this forming a gravitas for Kerrry, too. Did he not look like someone who completely dreaded the entire debate? There were very few times that Bush actually used up his alloted speaking time. On other occasions, he showed over-exuberance in stepping over Kerry's responses only to offer nothing and again squandering all his given time.
Simply put, Bush made me nervous when he spoke. I found myself actually thinking, "Please stop talking. You're going to say something really embarrassing."
Now, with one debate down and two to go, it seems we still have a horse race even despite the vapid polling that has been trying to tells us otherwise.
Let's be honest, Kerry still has much to prove to the electorate. A presidential election with an incumbent is like a heavyweight title fight. The challenger must not only beat the champ put also knock him out. He hasn't done that yet.
Here are some things we must watch in the next month:
>>The role of women voters
>>The movement of indenpendent voters
>>The participation of young, first-time voters
>>The Attitude of the Electorate
The axiom in American politics is that women voters take the longest to decide whom they are voting for. They tend to want all the facts up until the last moment before deciding. We need to be encouraged by what some polls are saying regarding Kerry's performance and female voters.
Of course, the reason we never see either candidate in California is because of those elusive indie voters. In an ABC News poll that was weighted by using 35% Democrat and Republican voters and 30% independent voters, Kerry won the debate, 46-35. If you take into account that most polls will tell you that Bush receives nearly 90% approval from his party, you can gather that he solidified his 35% in that poll with Republicans. Subsequently, Kerry garnered his larger margin from the indie group of respondents. Of course, this poll can be easily discounted, but it did march in line with other networks' polling.
Young, first time voters are the sleeping giants of this campaign. I worry that a Kerry lead or perception of victory might hurt Kerry. When voter turnout is high, it is always good for Democrats. When turnout is high and saturated with a heavily liberal block such as young people then it's wonderful. I believe the exclusion of these rabid Kerry followers to be the reason why so many polls rate Bush slightly higher than Kerry. How is Gallup or Zogby or CBS News going to contact first time voters or college students living in an age where the cellphone is ubiquitous? "Yo, one second, there's a pollster on the other line. I'll call you back."
In an incumbent presidential race, the focus must be on on the sitting president. The electorate must collectively determine whether Bush is up to the job of four more years. I believe we are at that point presently. If they say no, they will focus on whether the other guy is up to the job and make their decision. Last night, John Kerry showed America that, yes, you can see me as your president.