Tuesday, December 30, 2008


His lawyer said he wouldn't, the DNC said he shouldn't, and the Senate leaders said he couldn't. But today, Illinois Governor Blajovich has ended the speculation, and appointed long time Illinois politician Roland Burris to fill the vacant seat left by President-elect Barack Obama.
Burris, an Illinois public servant for over 30 years, during which he has enjoyed the respect and confidence of the Illinois electorate, all those he has served with. Burris has an enviable resume as a ground breaking African-American, arguably leading the way for those African Americans to follow, not the least of which is our current president-elect. Here are the highlights of Mr. Burris' political career.....
After graduating from law school, he became the first African-American National Bank Examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the U.S. Treasury Department.
From 1973 to 1977, he was appointed by Illinois Governor Dan Walker as Director of the Department of Central Management Services.
He was National Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for Operation PUSH from January to October 1977. He was in private law practice from October 1977 to January 1979.
From 1979 to 1991, Burris was elected to the office of Comptroller of Illinois. He was the first African American to be elected to a statewide office in the state of Illinois. He was elected to an unprecedented three terms.
From 1991 to 1995, he was Attorney General for the State of Illinois, where he headed over 500 lawyers. There, he was the second African American elected to the office of Attorney General in the United States.
He has been in private law practice since 1995, when he lost in a bid to become Governor (and additional attempts in subsequent years), and in 1996, Mayor of Chicago.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has responded to the announcement by saying that the Senate will not seat Burris, citing Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution, which states that "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members". However, the United States Supreme Court ruling of Powell v. McCormack suggests the Senate may not be able to prevent Burris from being seated. If Burris is seated, the Senate could opt to expel him, but it would take a two-thirds vote.
Since Barack Obama was only the fourth African American to serve in the U.S. Senate since reconstruction, I highly doubt that they will find one-third of the Senate to refuse to seat Mr. Burris, much less the required two-thirds. In my opinion, to do so would be political suicide.
When was the last time the Senate refused to seat a member? 1947, when Mississippi Democrat Theodore Bilbo was accused of corruption and bribery. And Roland Burris ain't no Bilbo.


For all the grandiose hopes and dreams of the Obama nation, for all the positive energy he gave us with his platform based on reforming government, getting out of world conflict, easing our economic burdens, and solving our energy crisis, it is becoming increasing obvious that the first term of Barack Obama will be purely reactive, rather than the proactive administration we had hoped for.
India and Pakistan are saber rattling again. Israel and Hamas are hammer locked into the war time rhetoric, and are exchanging rocket fire again. Israel has staged its ground troops across the border, and an invasion of the Gaza strip seems inevitable. In Israel, Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised an "all-out war against Hamas and its kind." Speaking at a stormy session of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, he said, "This operation will be widened and deepened as we see fit," and earlier Obama statements tend to approve of these actions.
Whether these statements were truly reflective of his beliefs, or merely stump speeches intended to bring out the Jewish vote for his campaign, Obama is stuck being a willful supporter of any war actions Israel may take in the future. Earlier in his college career, he had come out as a less than enthusiastic supporter of Israel, and it was planted in the media that he might take pro-Palestinian stances as our President.
It will be interesting to see what he can do, and how the Muslim world will see him, considering his early education in the religion. For all of his talk of Christian beliefs, he cannot, and should not try to deny his Muslim roots and heritage on his fathers side. This could be played to our advantage in the future.
Iran continues in its nuclear program, and continues in its defiant stance against world opinion. Iran, for all of its faults, must be recognized as a leader in the region, and is more than willing to play an anti-American role in any Middle east region, either out in the open, or behind the scenes.
Clearly, the Obama administration will spend its time dictated by world events, and will not, and should not begin to carry out any costly new initiatives, save for any projects involving job creation, which will put our economy back into motor drive.
For its part, the Bush administration has for the most part, sunk its head back into the tortoise shell, and has gone completely AWOL, unless you can put any value in the phone calls emanating from Condi Rice's office to the Middle East.
Obama has taken on the mantra of respect for the outgoing Bush administration, citing the obvious fact that there is only one President, and it is President Bush. Respectful and classy, to be sure, but in taking this pedestrian stance, it only assures the world that there is in fact, no president guiding us for the moment, at a time when we desperately need the voice of a leader around the world.
For all of the Bush rhetoric demanding cooperation from his staff in aiding the incoming Obama administration, thus assuring a smooth transition, it seems to me that the one area the transition is going the least smoothly, is in the oval office itself. At this perilous time around the world, can we afford an incoming President to take over with limited knowledge of our foreign affairs, sans daily briefings and phone calls to Rice and Bush for a few minutes a day?
It seems to me that the President-elect needs to be positioned in the west wing immediately upon election. At least give them the option of sitting in on meetings, receiving some mentoring from the current administration, and full access to any planning and strategy meetings in the situation room.
But, it goes deeper than this, the proposed cabinet should be fully vetted and approved by the Senate from day one. I would like to see substantive talks between Condoleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton going on now for a smooth transition. The trouble lies in the fact that congress must approve her nomination before she can even so much as renounce her seat in the Senate.
Obviously, the Obama administration is already starting behind the eight ball weeks before it takes control of the government. It isn't that there are some issues in areas, there are deep issues in seemingly all areas of the government, nation and the world. World events are going to dictate that he is ready from "day one," to coin a Clinton expression, and there will be no honeymoon period on the incoming administration at all. Worst of all, he will begin with an ever crumbling economy, which will come into play with every proposed decision he will consider making.
One must wonder why he wanted the position at all, clearly he is an unenviable position; possibly the worst position of any President in generations. Add to this, he will be getting pressure from the party leadership to act in a manner conducive to re-election; for his administration, and the congressional and state democrats as well.
This thinking must immediately be aborted from "day one." Clearly, the leadership this country so desperately needs right now, is a President, and administration that concentrates on doing the job, and not merely keeping the job.
And that is the world...."The World According to Kimba."
Thanks, as always for reading.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

THE 10 BIGGEST BONEHEADS OF 2008 ....... "The Kimba awards"

1. Mitt Romney: By trying to represent himself as ultra right wing while McCain drove to the middle, Romney blew his every chance of getting the nomination. He should have positioned himself as having conservative values, and having moderate views on every thing else. The conservative portrayal attempt was easily attacked through millions of sound bites from his Massachusetts Governor days, which identified him as the ultimate liar and flip-flopper. Then again, how economically savvy could he be; during the primary season, Romney invested over 6 million....in himself.
2. Elliott Spitzer: A bright career built as a reformer and crusader for law and order in New York, he threw away any hope for career advancement through his continued patronage of high priced prostitutes. Records show Spitzer spent a near fortune on call girls during the course of the year, and he apparently got his moneys worth, cause nobody got fucked harder than his career, besides his wife, who actually appeared with him during his public mea culpa.
3. Bill Clinton: While campaigning for his wife Hillary, he continued to make public gaffes in the press, who baited him with ease at almost every opportunity. Once considered the "first black president," his unfortunate comments resulted in the ire of the black community, who ultimately painted him as a bigot. He succeeded in becoming a distraction and an embarrassment to the campaign of his wife, arguably one of the most qualified and politically adept candidates to run for office in quite some time. While he should have reminded voters of the Clinton era good times, his appearances did more to remind voters of the Clinton circus than anything David Axlerod could have done. During the primary, Bill Clinton got his penis caught in his zipper more times than.....well......President Bill Clinton. Only this time, he didn't leave his DNA on a size 16 blue cocktail dress, he left it spread all over the southern red states.
4. Sarah Palin: Could any negative list not contain her name in 2008? She went rogue, pushed her own platform, and took the calls for her limited experience and turned them into concerns for her limited intelligence. Her inability to answer even the softest interview questions from a journalistic lightweight such as Katie Couric was excruciating to watch. The highlights of her ineptness were highlighted when a Canadian comedy duo prank called her and convinced her she was talking to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and when asked about her experience, she tried to explain why Alaska's proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience. The only person who capitalized on the Palin campaign, was Tina Fey, who got major laughs by merely repeating the incredibly insipid things Palin said in public..
5. Rod Blagojevich: arrested by FBI agents for a "staggering" level of corruption involving pay-to-play politics in Illinois' top office. Blagojevich is accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy, including alleged attempts by the governor to try to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. Blajo, in a position to fill the vacated Obama spot in the senate, actually thought ticket scalping was the way to go, bringing even Chicago politics to its knees.
6. John Edwards: positioned himself as the most experienced politician closest to Obama's platforms, he threw away a very good chance at running on the Obama ticket through his frequent philandering, while his wife remained at home fighting a potentially fatal case of cancer. Edwards is by any standard, a weasel with a $400.00 haircut, which is an insult to ferrets everywhere.
7. John McCain: Many pundits thought it would be nearly impossible for any Republican to win election to the White House immediately after the Bush II administration, but McCain survived, nearly made a run at it, and kept the contest very close to the very end. He made several gaffes during the campaign, but his quote that "the economy was fundamentally strong" while the economy continued to slide and crumble, hurt him immensely. His pick of Sarah Palin as a running mate may have been the last nail in his political coffin. Given a sluggish economy, and his admitted lack of economic acumen, his refusal to name Mitt Romney as his running mate (an economic guru) confounded his party base, and delighted the liberal base.
8. Mark Penn: Clinton political strategist, and rumored political genius, he got out-spent, out-spoken, out-messaged, and out-smarted. He took the slam dunk candidate of the year, and fumbled the ball with a complete lack of focus and consistent vision. At a price tag of around $12 million dollars, he even made the CEO of Lehman Brothers salary look like a bargain.
9. Carly Fiorina: Talk about your bad spells; who can go on record as driving Hewlitt Packard to near ruin, then driving John McCain to his third failed attempt at the big prize. Having done all the top Sunday political talk shows, she proved to be the least likable guest this side of Newt. Carly has been such a disappointment, the National Organisation of Women have reportedly demanded the return of her vagina, and asked her to disassociate herself with the feminine gender.
10. George Bush (King George II): He is the least liked Prez in generations, and the architect of eight years of absolute failure. It would take a micron telescope to find anything he did right. He trashed our relationships around the world, brought our economy to its knees (taking a Clinton surplus to the largest deficit in American history), and butchered the English language. His most profound period may have been when he stood on an a U.S. battleship in front of huge banner that declared "mission accomplished." A bright point came when he needed to pardon the sentence of his top aide Scooter Libby, who jumped onto the bullet when it was discovered your administration actually outed a covert CIA operative. As a president, George Bush couldn't hit his ass with a handful of fish hooks. The only thing he accomplished was elevating his father from the bottom on the worst president list. Sometimes it doesn't skip a generation. He is so bad, even Jimmy Carter is laughing, and that is saying a ton.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Celebrating the best words of 2008,
and the people who best represented them....
1. Vacuous: to Sarah Palin for her unfortunate run at the White House, and attempt to act intelligently. Empty, devoid of serious occupation, marked by a lack of ideas or content.
2. Sycophantic: to Caroline Kennedy for her attempt to get a freebie seat in the Senate. Marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentiveness, obsequious, bootlicker.
3. Philanderer: to John Edwards, who somehow found the strength to cheat on his wife while she was receiving treatment for a fatal disease (cancer). To be sexually unfaithful to one's wife, whore, scumbag.
4. Messianic: to Barack Obama, for obvious reasons. Marked by idealism and an aggressive crusading spirit.
5. Sepulcher: to Reverend Wright for his employment of his pulpit to spread hate. A person inwardly corrupt or wicked but outwardly or professedly virtuous or holy, hypocrite, race baiter.
6. Hubris: to the Bush administration, for their unique blend of arrogance and ignorance which will mark what was one of the worst presidential administrations in modern times. An overly exaggerated self-confidence, or pride.
7. Audacity: no, not to Obama, to Rod Blajovich for attempting to cash in on filling the Obama senate seat for personal and financial gain. Recklessness, daring, temerity.
Nominate your word, or phrase by clicking on the word "comment" below.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Santa doesn't usually make early house calls. He doesn't come before bedtime, and he doesn't use the doorbell. So when the eight year old girl answered the door on Christmas Day, she knew it would be a very special Christmas day. And it was, one she will never forget for the rest of her life...no matter how hard she will try.
He was a religious man, apparently. He volunteered at his Catholic church. His neighbors liked him, and no one could be found to say a bad word about him. So, it probably wouldn't have surprised anyone to see him in a Santa suit. maybe he was going to church again or was volunteering somewhere........
What they didn't know was, he was going through a very bad time. He had just gone through a bitter divorce after one year of marriage, and he was alone. He had made plans to make a fresh start of it. He was going to go to Canada. He had the plane ticket on him, along with $17,000.00 strapped to his body. But, before he left, he had a stop to make. So he wrapped up a present, grabbed his money, the plane ticket and the few other things and made his way for the car he had rented.....and headed over to his former in-laws for their annual Christmas party.
Trouble was, he wasn't invited. The in-laws were making a fresh start as well, with the divorce finalized and all the ugliness behind them, they looked forward to a holiday house party with over 25 guests attending. So when there was a knock at the door, the 8 year old girl ran to let in more guests, or at least she thought. And when the door opened and Santa appeared, all the better.
And at this very moment, Jeffrey Pardo had one last chance at humanity. One last chance at sanity. One last chance to let the bitterness of a divorce go and get on with his life. Instead when the door opened and the 8 year old girl answered the door, he shot her in the face. He shot her in the face. Then took two semi-automatic weapons and killed everyone he could.
Reports are the guests were scattering everywhere, upstairs, through the back, out windows, off the roof, where ever they needed to go to avoid the gun wielding Santa Claus impostor, and get away. Nine people didn't get away and died that night.
The only bright spot was the 8 year old girl he shot in the face was going to survive it. Pardo then took an incendiary device wrapped up like a present, and set the house on fire, burning himself in the process. He then took off for his brothers house and committed suicide.
He was a religious man, apparently. Volunteered weekly for his local Catholic church. People liked him. And yet deep down inside grew a deeply troubled man so enraged he would set out to commit a heinous crime, then skip town the next morning. All carefully planned and executed.
He was a religious man, apparently. People liked him. And when the 8 year old girl answered the door and to her delight, it was Santa Claus, he shot her in the face. He then went on to killing as many people as he could, and set the house on fire.
This wasn't rage. It wasn't a spur of the moment crime of passion. It was a carefully planned and orchestrated crime of hate by a man completely devoid of rational thinking and of any human feelings or compassion whatsoever. And when the door was answered, his heart was racing in anticipation of what he had set out to do, he looked down and saw the innocent face of an eight year old girl. And he shot her. He shot her in the face.
If I live to be a thousand, I could never understand what on earth he was thinking. I can't even fathom a human being capable of committing such an inhuman crime. He dressed up like Santa and set out to shoot as many people as he could. Even the innocent eight year old girl who answered the door.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


From an idea garnered from MSNBC.......
"He has picked his bible, but what verse?"
While President-elect Barack Obama will certainly be making history when he takes the oath of office on January 20, he'll also be repeating it -- by placing his hand on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used during the inauguration of 1861. It brings up the question of what verse(s), if any he will use for his call to arms.
II Chronicles 7:14 was used for three swearing-in ceremonies: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
When FDR first took the oath of office in 1933, the country was reeling under the crushing weight of the Great Depression. Urging his fellow Americans to lend a helping hand, Roosevelt had the Bible opened to I Corinthians 13: "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
Richard Nixon during the Vietnam era, took the oath with a family Bible opened to Isaiah 2:4: "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
During his first inaugural, Woodrow Wilson opened the Bible to Psalm 119, which concludes "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments."
The master of public speaking, William Jefferson Clinton opened up the Bible to Isaiah 58:12: "Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach."
Washington and Lincoln chose to open their bible to completely random passages. Others have not quoted directly from the bible at all. In fact, of the last 10 inaugural addresses, only 2 presidents - Democrats Carter and Clinton - have directly quoted from the Bible.
For Obama, I would suggest the following, from Jeremiah....“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).
Whichever quotes Obama uses for his inauguration speech, you can be sure that they will be carefully measured, and plentiful. For my money, I predict Obama will continue his obsession with Lincoln and Kennedy, and use the John F. Kennedy Inaugural quote: "Let the word go forth from this time and place. . .to friend and foe alike. . . that the torch has been passed ...
Interesting Obama would pick Kennedy and Lincoln to pattern himself, and his Presidency after....is this in anyway predicting the ending of his Presidency, considering how the Kennedy and Lincoln terms ended?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008



According to Wired.com.
If you had cosmetic surgery with Dr. Craig Alan Bittner, there's a chance fat sucked from your butt went right into the fuel tank of his SUV. Bittner called his thigh-test fuel "lipo-diesel." We call it revolting, but we're also stepping out on a limb and calling his bluff.
It seems some investigators from the California Department of Public Health (not to mention the state Board of Registration in Medicine and a host of other agencies) wanted to talk to the Beverly Hills "liposculpture" specialist but found he'd skipped town. Forbes.com reports Bittner has shuttered his medical practice on Rodeo Drive, and his website notes that he's moved to "Bogata" (sic), Colombia.
Using fat to fuel cars might be environmentally friendly, but it's definitely illegal in California to use human medical waste to power vehicles, and Bittner is being investigated by the state's public health department. Although it's unclear when Bittner started and stopped making fat fuel or how he made it, his activities came to light after recent lawsuits filed by patients that allege he allowed his assistant and his girlfriend to perform surgeries without a medical license. It isn't a stretch to think that someone could use human fat to make biodiesel. After all, any animal or vegetable fat contains triglycerides that can be used to make diesel. As Forbes.com notes, a gallon of fat yields about a gallon of fuel, and Bittner was awash in the stuff.
"The vast majority of my patients request that I use their fat for fuel — and I have more fat than I can use," Bittner wrote on his website, lipodiesel.com, which has since been taken down. "Not only do they get to lose their love handles or chubby belly, but they get to take part in saving the Earth."
According to www.TMZ.com, these are the pictures of yesterdays family memorial ceremony for President elect Barack Obama's beloved Grandma "Toot," Madeline Dunham, in Oahu. In one of lifes ironic twists, Barack's grandmother passed away just days short of seeing her grandson acheive a historic election to the Presidency of the United States.
I am still wrestling between what is such a magnificent and majestic landscape to be memorialized in, and TMZ's incredible violation of his family's privacy. It does however, give us a glimpse of the private Barack Obama, and his love and admiration for the woman who was instrumental in his childhood development.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Barack Obama has evoked Abraham Lincoln ever since launching his campaign at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Now he plans to arrive in Washington the same way that Lincoln did in 1861, with a train trip that will include stops, speeches and crowds along the way.
On Jan. 17, Obama and his family will start the day with an appearance in Philadelphia, where they will board a chartered Amtrak train. The train will stop in Wilmington, Del., where the Obamas will be joined by Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. Then comes a stop in Baltimore before the group's arrival that evening in Washington.
"He's replicating the last leg of Lincoln's inaugural journey to Washington," said historian Harold Holzer, the preeminent Lincoln historian and biographer, "This guy's reverence for Lincoln has no bounds."
And that is understandable, Lincoln being a fellow citizen of Illinois, it is very understandable. But while Obama is many things, including a ground breaker in the world of Presidential politics, his obsession with comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln is starting to rub some Presidential historians the wrong way.
They say Obama's ego is out of control when it comes to his constant comparisons of himself to Lincoln and they point to the President-elect's brazen attempts to overemphasize his place in history. Lincoln, they point out, was known for his humility. Obama, they add, is known more for his lack of it.

And, now the announcement that Barack Obama intends to be the first President elect to ever use the Lincoln Bible, other than Lincoln himself of course, in 1861. Which means yet another fact to compare the two, since Obama will be taking the oath on the Bible used by the great emancipator, and he's the first African-American president. Both men are from Illinois. And both faced some controversy over their limited time in elected office. Lincoln served only a single term in the House of Representatives and was very much an unknown quantity to the eastern establishment in 1861 and seemed like an unlikely candidate to save the union.

This is not what is troubling me. Not the comparisons, the oft used Lincoln quotations, none of it. What is bothering me is Obama's transformation away from what I thought he was. His state and defense departments are headed by officials much more hawkish than Obama himself. He is running to the center, as he nears the center stage. And in doing so, he is neglecting some of the people who got him there.

In choosing Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his swearing-in ceremony, he chose a biblical scholar of much note and national regard (and a respected member of the clergy among all groups). But in doing so, he has also chosen a man who has compared abortion to the holocaust, and gay marriage to incest and pedophilia. This choice spat in the eye of those gays who helped put him in his current position. Not a great start.

And now the recreation of the path of Lincoln, and the very Bible he swore into the office with. Good choices, but the man ain't exactly representing. Of course, re-walking Dr. King's march to Selma is out of the question, but how about using his Bible? How about doing something, anything to celebrate the momentous occasion of a black man finally coming to power in a country with a dubious racial history, and powerful hateful undertones which still remain, to say the very least.

It just seems to me that in his many choices since winning the election, he is a man running away from who he is, and what he represents to this nation, regardless of color or creed. I know, it is just a bible, and it is just an opening prayer. But it IS more than that, and we know it. It just strikes me as odd, strikes me as awfully strange choices for a man who scolded us on his political pulpit with his "Just Words" speech. Sometimes words are more than just words, and a Bible is more than the word of God, this time, it would represent the hope and dreams of a nation.

And that is the world..."The World According to Kimba." As always, thanks for reading.


This is obviously change. When was the last time you saw a youthful soon-to-be Prez bare chested on the beach? If you think back, when was the last time we had a president we could stomach seeing bare chested on the beach?
Oh, but the more things change, the more we can't shake the past. Is this a barometer of what the next four years are going to look like? Constant allegations of past wrong doings, persistent digging into his former relationships with Chicago cronies, and the eventual denials on the part of the Obama administration, which may, or not be believed. Obviously, the honeymoon is over, as the American public begin to see what was once a refreshing breathe of change on the American political landscape as just another political machine full of skeletons. The following CNN polling results indicate just that, at least for half of the country.
Forty-eight percent of voters believe that aides to President-elect Barack Obama acted illegally or unethically in communications with embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, according to a poll released yesterday.
Despite Obama's repeated assurances that his staff "had nothing to do" with Blagojevich, who is under investigation for attempting to sell Obama's Senate seat, only 43 percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research poll said they believed in the transition staff's total innocence. The poll found that 12 percent believed that Obama's aides have done something illegal and another 36 percent said they believed aides did something unethical, even if they didn't break the law.
An internal investigation detailing the staff's communications with the governor's office, slated for release today, is expected to back up Obama's claims that aides' limited conversations with Blagojevich and his staff were appropriate.

Monday, December 22, 2008


On the 12th day of Obama nation, Barack will give to thee...
12 references to Lincoln
11 plain black dress suits
10 Clinton wanna-bes
9 birthplace lawsuits
80 billion in bailouts,
7 questionable relationships,
6 more brigades in Afghanistan,
5 new White House residents,
4 WPA projects,
3 failing auto makers
2 more liberal justices,
and Joe Biden........... in a hair weave.
Yes, we're getting Joe Bi-iii-den in a hair weave.
Happy holidays to all, Kimba


1. Don't bring your teacher an apple, bring them your cable boxes. Television, video games and assorted electronic babysitters have ruined the last three generations. Do something about it.
2. Send your preschool children with learned basic skills. Children today are starting at ground level. They do not know their alphabets, their numbers, yet alone simple basic sight words, yet they can reboot their Wii's and operate their DVR's. Tragic. No child left behind is not a governmental program, it is a parental mandated responsibility.
3. Allow your teachers to be innovative. Louisiana just passed a bill allowing the introduction of all viewpoints on everything from climate change to evolution. If your idea for education includes burying our children's heads in the sand and not discussing today's topics; gay marriage, abortion, war, assisted suicide and the like, your children will learn about them from their contemporaries and television. Good choice.
4. Forget the standard testing based on the regurgitation of facts, and concentrate on logic, critical thinking, problem solving and deduction. Our children leave school with a head full of facts, and no ability to think for themselves.
5. Help your local schools embrace an entrepreneurial spirit. You in the local business world can help your school in a myriad of ways, especially financially. It is a tragedy that educators have to buy their own supplies for their students mid-year. Our educators, our classrooms should have committees of parents whose role is to encourage local businesses to donate; and that means time, money and resources.
For example, the company I work for schedules annual meetings in large banquet rooms at an exorbitant cost. Why shouldn't we hold these events on a Saturday at a local school auditorium?
Our inner cities have thousands of parents who desperately need ESL training, or GED training, or need to learn a trade. All of our schools have hundreds of adults in need of training in Microsoft word, power point, excel, basic investing, home repairs, and the like. And, our schools have teachers who are struggling to survive financially. Can't we bring these groups together for their mutual benefit?
6. Accept reality. Your child is not going to be a doctor, or will benefit by going to college. It is time to stop pushing this myth that college is the penultimate answer for each and every child. We need to get real, separate the bottom students, and begin training them for a lucrative trade once they graduate. Here again is an opportunity for business to become involved.
What is the downside? If we keep going in the direct we are headed, we will crank out more and more high school graduates incapable of filling out an employment application.
My parents pushed the importance of a college education, and I know less educated plumbers and electricians who would laugh at my annual salary. Yes, money isn't the perfect end goal; we would like to think we are developing a well rounded, well educated society, but failing that, economic success for our children would not be a bad thing.
7. Let's rethink school vouchers for our high schools. By failing to separate our best students into an advance learning center, we fail to fully tap into our children's potentials. By the 10th grade, we know who the rocket scientists, and the landscapers will most likely be. Putting them into the same classrooms, or even the same schools, makes no sense. This isn't bigotry, it is educational Darwinism, and our country will be far better off because of it.
8. We need to reward our educators. The corporation I work for gives a 30% discount to anyone showing a teachers credential, and everyone else should do the same. I have worked for restaurants and convenience stores during my student years who would not dream of charging a policeman for a cup of coffee or doughnut. We need to develop this kind of reverence for our local teachers.
9. If you do use a daycare provider, pick one capable of educating, and not just babysitting. Daycare should be much more than a safe house with a big screen TV. Demand more from your daycare environment than you provide your children at home. They should be as professional as your child's heath care provider. You cannot underestimate the importance of an early educational start.
10. Give your child a gift that keeps on giving, a library card. The most underutilized resource in your town is the library, by a wide margin. Most adults don't even know where their local library is, let alone have a card. If you do not set the example, they will never know the importance and benefits of the written word. We cannot continue raising generations of video idiots.
11. Get involved. Maintain an ongoing conversation with your children's teachers. E-mail them, send them thank you cards, ask them how you can help. Team up with your child's teachers and maximize the educational experience for your offspring. Be an advocate, be an advisor, be a contributor. They cannot do it alone.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Alaska State Troopers have arrested the mother of Bristol Palin's boyfriend on drug charges. Sherry L. Johnston was arrested Thursday after troopers served a search warrant on a Wasilla home. The 42-year-old Johnston has been charged with six felony drug counts.
Troopers served the warrant at Johnston's home at the "conclusion of an undercover narcotics investigation," said a statement issued Thursday by the troopers as part of the normal daily summary of activity around the state. Troopers charged Johnston with second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance -- generally manufacturing or delivering drugs -- as well as fourth-degree misconduct involving controlled substances, or possession.
Johnston is the mother of 18-year-old Levi Johnston. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP nominee for vice president, announced in September that her 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant and Johnston was the father. Sherry Johnston was released from jail in Palmer on $5,000 bail, just in time for the birth of her granddaughter, whose birth is due tomorrow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Nationally known author and pastor Rick Warren has accepted an offer to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural swearing-in ceremony, drawing fury from gay rights activists and opponents of Proposition 8.
Earlier this year, as the debate over same-sex marriage raged in California, Warren publicly endorsed Proposition 8, which amends the state Constitution to declare that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."Since the proposition passed in November, hundreds of protesters have gathered near his Orange County church to condemn the stance (just for the record, they are not doing drugs, fornicating in the garden, or molesting cub scouts).
Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a gay rights organization that worked against Proposition 8, called the decision to include Warren in the inauguration ceremony a "slap in the face to millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who donated for, worked for and helped elect Barack Obama president."
The Human Rights Campaign, a nationwide gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued a letter calling the invitation a "genuine blow to LGBT Americans."
This is a surprising pick for many reasons; one, he represents the mainstream white evangelicals, which heavily favored John McCain in the election. Secondly, he is vehemently anti-abortion, and anti-gay marriage rights. Thirdly, many Obama supporters have not forgotten last summers candidate summit which Warren presided over, when both candidates were supposed to be kept in the dark about the questions Warren would be asking. With Warren sitting down with Obama first, the pastor asserted that McCain was being kept in a "cone of silence" that prevented him from hearing the questions. It turns out that McCain wasn't even in the building and that he might have had an opportunity to catch wind of the questions. Some Obama supporters were pretty sore over it.
And yet, the Democratic evangelical outreach marches forward, setting its sights on the movement's biggest players, like Warren. It is one thing to reach out across the aisle, but it is entirely another to select someone who is diametrically opposed to one of your most fervent groups of supporters. Who will be next? John Hagee?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush was handed over to the Iraqi judiciary, an Iraqi official said Tuesday, a move that signals the start of criminal proceedings. The reporter shouted in Arabic, "This is your farewell kiss, you dog!" In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of deep contempt.
A White House spokeswoman said Tuesday that Iraqi leaders are the ones to decide whether punishment is appropriate for the Iraqi journalist who stunned observers by hurling two shoes at President George W. Bush from close range. "The president believes that Iraq is a sovereign country, a democratic country, and they will have a process that they follow on this," White House press secretary Dana Perino told reporters. "The president harbors no hard feelings about the incident."
With all of the attention which has been laid on the Iraqi Journalist, an immediate death sentence is not expected (unlike other Middle eastern countries), but he will certainly be dealt a stiff punishment; certain imprisonment, and will achieve martyr like status to the Iraqi masses who are currently protesting for his immediate release.
My suggestion? Bush should have shown the world what freedom looks like with his immediate interaction into the situation. Although the man did commit an attempted assault, Bush could have used the opportunity to engage in a closed session dialogue with the journalist, once he had calmed down. Let the world see how democracy works first hand. Let the Iraqis witness a world leader who cares about the voices of the people, the Iraqi vox populi. The Iraqi's have many reasons to protest against President Bush. They didn't need another, and certainly didn't need yet another anti-American hero and martyr.

Saturday, December 13, 2008



Part of the allure of the candidate and the "Obama nation" movement was the freshness, the simple, and frank rhetoric, the willingness on a Presidential candidate to fashion a campaign with a promise to "change the way Washington does business."
He refused to take campaign money from PAC's and lobbyists. He refused to take federal matching campaign financing. He seemed to be everything he was advertised as; the one person who could finally make some progress towards politics as it should be, instead of the lobbyist controlled denizen of party politics and dirty tricks.
But, has our "white knight," the candidate called "the one" and taken to near messianic status among the American citizens during the campaign lost his luster? Is he who we thought he was, and should we have known better? After all, this is not the first time we have been taken as a voting populous. The nation did vote for George Bush, arguably the worst President in a century, not once, but TWICE (for the record, I did not vote for Bush either time, and as all regular readers of this blog certainly know, I was / am a vehement Clinton supporter).
Exactly what are Obama's ties to Chicago's politically nefarious (i.e. Daley, Blajo, Daley, et al.)? We may never know. American historians are loathe to attack a sitting President unless the deeds are of impeachable status.
But questions remain....
Can a young up and coming State Senator emerge from the polluted waters of Illinois politics squeaky clean?
How on earth did the Clinton campaign, with all of its power, connections and money, fail to connect the dots on these goings on in a manner that they could make corruption accusations stick to the erstwhile young Senator?
Can you leave Chicago politics with all of its unique proclivities, and then claim to be the one to clean up Washington politics, having just survived a political cesspool of unspeakable proportions?
Isn't what Obama did, to look forward at the dirty politics of Washington, all the while trying to forget the landscape you left in your rear view mirror, the antithesis of irony and political double speak?
I am sure we will get some answers to these, and other questions, but I believe the connection lines to Obama will be blurred at best. Will the public go from Obama nation to Obama remorse? Doubtful, everything he has done since his victory gives us all hope for a better tomorrow. For the rest, it will be up to us to connect the dots.
And that is the world....."The World According to Kimba." Thanks, as always for reading.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested on conspiracy and bribery charges this morning, including allegations that he planned to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat, which he is responsible for filling now that Obama is headed to the White House. Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a "staggering" level of corruption involving pay-to-play politics in Illinois' top office.

Robert Grant, FBI special agent in charge of the Chicago office, said the arrest of Blagojevich should serve as notice that "business as usual will no longer be tolerated. That selling your office for personal gain is a thing of the past."

The stunning, early morning arrest came amid revelations that federal investigators had compiled secret recordings of the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant. In recent days, the focus of federal investigators turned to the possibility that Blagojevich's appointment to the Senate had become tainted by pay-to-play politics. Prosecutors alleged Blagojevich sought appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services, secretary of the Energy Department or gain an ambassadorship in the new Obama administration, or get a lucrative job with a union in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate. An Obama spokesman had no immediate comment.

Blagojevich also was alleged to be using a favors list, made up largely of individuals and firms that have state contracts or received taxpayer benefits, from which to conduct a $2.5 million fundraising drive before year's end when a new tougher law on campaign donations, prompted by the governor's voracious fundraising, would take effect.

Even Blagojevich's recently announced $1.8 billion plan for new interchanges and "green lanes" on the Illinois Tollway was subject to corruption, prosecutors alleged. The criminal complaint alleges Blagojevich expected an unnamed highway concrete contractor to raise a half-million dollars for his campaign fund in exchange for state money for the tollway project. "If they don't perform, (expletive) 'em," Blagojevich said, according to the complaint.

Should Blagovjevich decide to step down from his position, Chicago Mayor Daley has announced the silent auction for the governors seat, and Barack Obama's senate seat will be conducted this Saturday on WGN-TV. He reminds the public that they do, as always accept cash, check and all major credit cards.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Needless to say, the promotions of Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton will leave open seats in the Senate, very valuable positions to be sure. The way the system works is that the State Governor's get to choose who to appoint to the seats on an interim basis, until the seat comes up for re-election.
Biden's seat will eventually go to his son, who is currently serving abroad as a National Guardsman. Until that time, Biden's long time number one aide will assume the position. The other two seats are a scramble with speculation over short lists, and applicants publicly lobbying for their appointments (see post below).
The talking point is; should the Obama seat go to a person of color and the Clinton seat go to a woman to preserve the minority matrix of the senate body? It is no secret that black leaders are lobbying hard for all three to go to qualified black leaders from each state, and without doubt the senate is overwhelmingly made up of gray haired white men in dark suits. In no way does the senate body truly represent a true representation of the population it is responsible to represent.
But should we take advantage of this opportunity to swing the pendulum the other way when we can? Should we have an unspoken quota system / priority towards making up the undeniable inbalance of representatives to the electorate they represent? If a senator is gay, should his / her replacement be gay? Same for race, religion and gender? By electing Obama in Illinois, haven't the electorate expressed their preference of a black to represent them? Or did they vote for the man without taking race into account?
Should the Governors in each state be the ones to appoint, or should it go to national party heads to insure they are replaced with members of the same party? Perhaps a special (and costly) election to replace the seats?
And, does this arcane system of appointing replacements for promoted senators affect the choices of the President-elects when selecting cabinet secretaries? If the most qualified person is a senator in a state with a governor of a different party, would the president-elect be less likely to appoint them?
It seems to me there should be some sort of established protocol, a succession plan that is already established, such as in the replacement of a President. To do anything else would open up everything to cronyism, and quid pro quo possibilities.
Failing this, should a governors replacement pick be subject to the state legislative approvals?

Saturday, December 6, 2008


In an unbelievable example of nepotistic arrogance, Caroline Kennedy has spoken to New York Gov. David Paterson about the Senate seat that will come open when Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes secretary of state, according to a person familiar with the conversation.
Here are Caroline's qualifications for entering the senate: she is the daughter of JFK, period. And oh yeah, she stumped for Obama with Oprah Winfrey, another close Obama aide unqualified for the position (and someone who just released a press release letting us know she does not want a job in the Obama administration, as if....). If pure nepotism works in place of real experience, how about Jenna Bush, or Chelsea Clinton? This is too ridiculous for words.
Of the other possible names floated for Hillary's Senate seat is another Kennedy, but certainly not Caroline. It is her cousin Robert Kennedy Jr., who supported Clinton in the primaries, going against Caroline and his uncle, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, who both supported Obama. Robert Kennedy reportedly said in January 2007 that he would consider running for Clinton's Senate seat if she were to win the presidency. But this too, is a trip into fantasy land. Now lets look at the one person capable of filling the Senate seat of Hillary Clinton.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, has strong ties to the Clintons. He was secretary of housing and urban development for four years under President Bill Clinton before being elected the state attorney general in 2006. Cuomo also has ties to another legendary Democratic family: the Kennedy clan. Cuomo was married to Marry Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, for 13 years until their divorce in 2003. They have three children. Polls show the people of New York overwhelmingly endorse Cuomo to take over the seat in Clinton's absence. Maybe Caroline could go Sarah Palin and make some calls about the ouster of her ex-cousin-in-law. Sometimes politics take some fairly nauseating turns, to be sure. Forget the Clinton's, they don't even compare to the Kennedy clan. Unfortunately, the idea that Caroline Kennedy might be appointed by New York Gov. David Paterson to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate, the same chamber in which her late father -- John F. Kennedy -- served and the same seat her uncle -- Robert Kennedy -- held, is drawing huge amounts of attention. Let's hope it is just a political stunt. The senate is no place to start (and end) your political career. Caroline, ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country, and step aside for serious people. Serious people about to do some very serious work.


Powerful senator and family patriarch Ted Kennedy has been working back channels to promote niece Caroline as the replacement for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate, family sources told The Post. The elder Kennedy (D-Mass.), who's battling brain cancer, has sent word to Gov. Paterson's office that Caroline Kennedy, 51, has contacts and family connections that would mean legislation affecting New York would receive prompt attention, family sources said. In a nutshell, this is how American politics works.
Ted Kennedy - who forged strong ties with Barack Obama after backing him in the primaries - is the president-elect's closest ally in the Senate. He is also leading the charge on health-care legislation, a pet project of Obama's.
Caroline had been more interested in being ambassador to the United Nations, the source said. But after that position went to Susan Rice last Monday, she called Paterson and the two discussed Clinton's Senate seat, the governor confirmed Friday. A Senate seat as a FALL BACK POSITION...you have to love that.
The governor, who has the job of appointing a replacement for Clinton, has said he won't make any decision for weeks, pending Clinton's confirmation as secretary of state. A Paterson-administration source said that because of Caroline's limited political experience, she is "barely in the game." (Thank God !!)
Yet, the introverted lawyer made a big splash when she stepped onstage with Uncle Teddy and endorsed Obama early this year. "Her name recognition and the power of the Kennedy legacy can't be overlooked," said one Democrat.


First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.
Second, we will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.
Third, my economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen. We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.
As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway (fourth). It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.
In addition to connecting our libraries and schools to the internet, we must also ensure that our hospitals are connected to each other through the internet. That is why the economic recovery plan I’m proposing will help modernize our health care system – and that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives. We will make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year.
These are a few parts of the economic recovery plan that I will be rolling out in the coming weeks. When Congress reconvenes in January, I look forward to working with them to pass a plan immediately. We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or create at least two and a half million jobs so that the nearly two million Americans who’ve lost them know that they have a future. And that’s exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States.


According to a new book, "The Dumbest Generation" by Mark Bauerlein of Emory University, subtitled -- "How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future" -- says it all. Generational put downs, Bauerlein's included, are typically long on attitude and short on facts. But the underlying question is worth pursuing: If the data are objectively assessed, which age-slice of today's working-age adults really does deserve to be called the dumbest generation? You may not be surprised at the answer, but as a male aged 52 (born in 1956), and a high school graduate in 1974, I am mortified to say, it is my generation, apparently.
Those born from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, compared with every other generational grouping, have performed the worst on standardized exams, acquired the fewest educational degrees and been the least attracted to professional careers. In a word, we're the dumbest.
Here's the bottom line: On both the reading and the math tests, and at all three tested ages (9, 13 and 17), the lowest-ever scores in the history of the NAEP were recorded by children born between 1961 and 1965.
The same pattern shows up in SAT scores. The SAT reached its all-time high in 1963, when it tested the 1946 birth cohort. Then it fell steeply for 17 straight years, hitting its all-time low in 1980, when it tested the 1963 cohort. Ever since, the SAT has been gradually on the rise, paralleling improvements in the NAEP. In 2005, teens born in 1988 scored better on the combined SAT than any teens born since 1956 (my personal year of birth) -- and better on the math SAT than any teens born since 1951.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans born from 1958 to 1962 have the highest share that has never completed high school among all age brackets between 25 and 60. They also have the lowest share with a four-year college degree among all age brackets between 30 and 60, and they're tied for lowest in graduate degrees. Once this generation entered the labor force in the 1980s, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noticed something else: For the first time in decades, the share of young adults entering professions such as law, medicine and accounting began to drop.
Why so? Quite simply, we were children at a uniquely unfavorable moment -- a time when the divorce rate accelerated, when the media image of children turned demonic and when the "latch key" lesson for kids stressed self reliance rather than trust in others.
By the time we entered middle and high school, classrooms were opened, we were allowed to leave campus for lunches, overall standards were lowered, and basically, all forms of supervision had disappeared. Compared with earlier- or later-born students at the same age, we were assigned less homework, watched more TV and took more drugs. I wish I could do anything other than concur for my generation here.
I remember from my adolescence, no matter what trouble I got into as a teenager, drinking, smoking, being truant from school, staying out way too late etc., my parents always said the same thing...."at least Kim is not on drugs." That was the fear of all parents in the 70's, their child may be smoking pot, or taking drugs. And to be honest, drugs were prevalent during this time, and incredibly easy to get. One of our most favorite things to do back then was to attend a rock concert, where pot smoking was the rule, and not the exception. So universally accepted at concerts, law enforcement could not control it, so they did somewhat our parents did, bury their heads in the sand and justify their non actions by thinking "at least they aren't killing each other."
Most of my generation knows the score. Most of my generation realizes they have made a huge mistake not taking their education seriously, and actually finishing. I myself attended college for four years, majoring in political science, dropping classes before I failed, and being inebriated. And today, as midlife parents, most of us have become ultra-protective of their own teenage kids and ultra-demanding of their kids' schools, as if to make double-certain it won't happen again, but the results are mixed as to whether their concerns and efforts have succeeded.
Does America need to worry that my generational group is taking over as our national leaders (Barack Obama is only 6 years younger than me......or is it I?). Probably not. My generation does have certain strengths that many more learned people lack: We are practical and resilient, we handle risk well, and we know how to improvise when even the experts don't know the answer. In short, we may not have the pigskin, but we are smart and intuitive enough to bullshit our way through. Make of that what you will.
What we should be worried about is the generation coming up. They are extremely computer savvy, if you count texting and face book entries, where a lack of capitalization and IM codes dominate online writing. They do not read, nor do they care to. Without spell check, they are toast on any school assignment.
As the author states in his book: "The ignorance is hard to believe ... It isn't enough to say that these young people are uninterested in world realities. They are actively cut off from them. ... They are encased in more immediate realities that shut out conditions beyond -- friends, work, clothes, cars, pop music, sitcoms, and Face book.''
They do use the Internet as a source of information. They "google" a question and receive the answer. They have a world of information at their fingertips, but they do not retain the information; the Internet is just a delivery system, a vehicle used to inhibit and eliminate the need for actual thought. But ask them how to operate Grand Theft Auto III, the latest video game (which sold $50 million worth seemingly over night), and they will ace the test.
Video gaming is so popular, so persuasive among our newest generation, that scientists are now studying whether or not children are actually addicted to it. Reports in South Korea have even gone so far as to indicate that video gaming children actually hear the video game sound effects in their minds even when not operating the game itself.
Do these facts scare or horrify me? To a certain extent. However given these facts, I am relieved to think in a few years it will be officially documented that they, and not my generation are now the "dumbest generation." And they will probably do OK as well, as we will give them what our parents unconsciously gave us, the ability to bullshit their way through life's dilemmas.


Hillary Clinton's nomination to become President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of state may give her the edge she needs to finally retire her massive campaign debt. Clinton is using the nomination, which was announced Monday, to encourage supporters to give her money to help pay off the remaining $7.6 million debt from her presidential bid, the Washington Times reported Friday.
Although Clinton will be legally prohibited from raising money if she is confirmed as secretary of state, the Hatch Act governing executive branch officials and employees allows her presidential committee to keep raising funds. A "congratulations" e-mail to supporters from former President Bill Clinton linked to a page soliciting donations to Hillary Clinton for President. And the Clintons are attending a fundraiser this month in New York.
Obama is also using the announcement to help raise money. On Tuesday, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe sent an e-mail to supporters that listed the members of the new national security team and included a "Please donate" button linking to the transition fundraising Web page.