Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One week until Election Day

Are you sick of political advertisements yet? Some of these ads are as fictional as a typical John Grisham novel. The ads perpetuate a myth that a Barney Frank type is answering his call to “public service”, singlehandedly saving an elderly woman’s life by making a few phone calls to get her the prescription medication that she can’t afford. He’s making a positive impact for the district! Naturally, the ad doesn’t take into account the other 99.5 percent of what the politician’s activities are – voting in a fiscally reckless manner, taking stands on issues that go against the will of his constituents, and collecting dubious campaign contributions from lobbyists.

Never before has an election season brought out so much cynicism. The economy is atrocious, unemployment is rampant, and the Democratic majority in Washington has squandered a golden opportunity by ramming unwanted, so called “progressive” legislation down the throats of a bewildered public who foolishly fell under the spell of cuddly campaign slogans two years ago.

What is striking is that anyone actually believed the nonsense the Democrats were selling back in 2008. With the help of folks such as David Gregory, Katie Couric, and Oprah Winfrey, the Democrats managed to snooker an unfocused electorate, too busy updating their statuses on Facebook and watching Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Anne, to pay attention to the true intentions of the Democrats. Did these voters not see any of the 2008 Democratic Primary? Those primary debates made the Swedish and French look like knuckle dragging Neanderthals.

If these Obama voters had done any research, they would’ve found that the Democrats are the party of special interests. Once upon a time the Democrats cared for the working person. That is no longer the case. The 21st century Democrats are the party of trial lawyers, illegal aliens, welfare queens, unions, the abortion lobby, and the politically correct.

The latest polls show what will likely be a large Republican victory on November 2nd. However, I believe the polls are underestimating how large the victory will be; big surprise when most of the mainstream media is liberal. What these polls are underestimating is the energy that the Tea Party voters, Republicans, and independents will bring to the voting booths across America. They can’t wait to vote!

There is no energy for the Democrats. This election is a referendum on the healthcare bill, President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The poll numbers show Pelosi and Reid to be particularly unpopular. Good luck getting depressed Democratic voters to the polls.

Here in Massachusetts, other than moonbats and lockstep union members, does anyone believe that tone deaf Governor Deval Patrick is steering Massachusetts in the right direction? Independents, not Democrats are the largest voting bloc in Massachusetts. The dissatisfaction and disgust for the status quo will cause Republican tremors across the United States, including Massachusetts. I am looking forward to seeing it all unveil on Election Day.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Morning Politics

Some quick hits:

That Massachusetts poll by Suffolk University proclaiming that Governor Deval Patrick has a 7 point lead has to be false. Governor Patrick has high negatives and Massachusetts state polls are notoriously inaccurate. For example, the polls that came out last winter where Attorney General Marsha Coakley (yes, I know her real name is Martha, but it's so much fun calling her by the nickname Patrick Kennedy bestowed upon her) had a 15 point lead over Scott Brown in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race.

Congressman Barney Frank really has his hands full with Republican challenger Sean Bielat. Bielat has managed to frustrate Frank in debates, to where all he can do is demand Bielat stop interrupting him. Bielat has run a great campaign, has a strong grasp of the issues, and isn't intimidated at all. They have another debate in Newton being sponsored by the Newton League of Women Voters. Frank is sure to get some softball questions from that group.

To the people of Delware: How is a Marxist like Chris Coons a better choice than Christine O'Donnell? Haven't you already seen what damage can be done to the country under the 21 months of President Obama's stewardship of the economy? O'Donnell is definitely very conservative, but she's far less dangerous than a vote for continuation of socialist policies that have destroyed economic recovery. O'Donnell has been unfairly portrayed in the media, while Coons gets off easy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deion Branch back with the Patriots

Count me as being thrilled that the Patriots re-acquired Deion Branch from the Seattle Seahawks for a 4th round pick. There are those who don't like the the deal, due to Branch being injury prone since going to Seattle. I can see their point, however, the Patriots have 2 picks in each of the first three rounds of the 2011 draft, so giving up the 4th rounder is no big deal.

Branch is a clutch player and he's also a winner. He may not have Randy Moss' pedigree when it comes to all time regular season greatness, but Branch won a Super Bowl MVP. Moss' performance in the Super Bowl vs. the Giants was average at best.

If Branch is healthy, he's still a quality NFL receiver. He and QB Tom Brady have always had good chemistry on the field. I believe he will be a serious asset to the Patriots offense the rest of this season.

Welcome back, Deion!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

John Lennon's 70th birthday

If he hadn't been needlessly gunned down 30 years ago by Mark David Chapman, John Lennon would've turned 70 today. Certainly, if he had remained alive, he would've written and produced more great music. I'm also of the belief that the Beatles would've reunited at some point. Stories have come out the last few years (courtesy of May Pang) that during his separation from Yoko Ono in 1974, Lennon was very interested in getting back together with the band. John and Paul McCartney were hanging out together in Los Angeles during this time frame. However, once he went back to Ono, that possibility dissipated. It wasn't in Yoko's best interests for the Beatles to get back together.

In looking at their songwriting partnership, Lennon and McCartney were perfect for each other. Lennon would add an edge to Paul's penchant for throwaway lyrics and let him know when a song wasn't good (Lennon was said to have hated "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" - and rightfully so. He refused to participate in the recording of it). I also don't believe John would've allowed "Mary Had A Little Lamb", to see the light of day. Paul would rein in some of John's over the top songs ("Cold Turkey" and "Mother" would never be allowed to appear on a Beatles album) and add melody to them.

Many people have different opinions on this topic, but I believe Paul was unfairly portrayed as a soft music artist, who was riding Lennon's coattails. Let's be honest. John was martyred after his death. If one were to look at the last three Beatle albums, John Lennon had mentally checked out.

John famously complained in a 1970 interview with Lennon toadie Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone that the band had tired of being sidemen for Paul. Other than being strung out on drugs a lot of the time, what did Lennon really contribute during 1968-69? "Revolution" is an outstanding song, as is "Don't Let Me Down". "The Ballad of John and Yoko" is, narcissistic, but excellent as well. That's pretty much it.

During the last 3 albums, some examples of the contributions from Lennon were "Happiness Is A Warm Gun", "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey", "Revolution 9", and "Come Together". Those don't come close to measuring up to his best songs. Paul McCartney's songs during that time frame include, "Let It Be", "The Long and Winding Road", "Golden Slumbers Medley", "Get Back", "Oh Darling", "Back in the USSR" - all Beatle classics.

It is obvious who wrote the better songs during those last albums. By Abbey Road, the Beatles turned into the Paul and George show. The two biggest classics from Abbey Road, are "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun" - both by George Harrison.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered by most critics to be the greatest album of all time. John Lennon readily admitted that the ideas behind the album came from Paul. John did contribute the great, "A Day In The Life", with the perfect middle part of the song written and sung by Paul. That is songwriting collaboration at its finest.

Now when it comes to the early Beatles material, I believe John Lennon's songs were much stronger. His contributions on the "A Hard Day's Night" album are a tour de force, too many to list. Other early Lennon songs, "Help!", "Please, Please Me", "Norwegian Wood", "Nowhere Man", and "In My Life", are some of the biggest Beatles songs.

In terms of their solo material, they badly missed one another. Both had their hits and misses. Paul has missed the mark badly, several times. Albums such as "Wild Life", "Red Rose Speedway", "London Town", "Pipes Of Peace", "Press To Play", and "Off the Ground" are only for the truest McCartney fan.

Lennon's penchant for radicalism and political songs went way over the top, thus leaving some of his material, such as the album "Some Time in New York City", unlistenable. I'm also not much into the tortured artist persona. I listen to music for enjoyment, not to hear songs like, "My Mummy's Dead", or bizarre material such as "Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)".

To me, there are four songs that are the essence of John Lennon's solo career.

"How Do You Sleep?" - from the Imagine album. A postcard of disdain to Paul McCartney featuring lyrical put downs with titles of McCartney songs. A slow bluesy type song, featuring a killer slide guitar solo, cheerfully delivered by George Harrison. In an interview a few years later, John attempted to back off the obvious fact that this song is about Paul and but instead was about himself. Yeah, sure.

"God" - John's song about what he believes and his standing in life when the song was written in 1970.

"Jealous Guy" - This song is my favorite solo song written by John. Where was this type of song in 1969?

"Stand By Me" - a cover song on the Rock n Roll album, but the song is sung with such a fantastic edge, it is truly a tremendous performance. This version blows the Ben E. King original away. This is Lennon singing and performing at his finest.

It is unfortunate that Lennon took 5 years off from music in the last years of his life to raise his son Sean. Maybe he felt he needed to be the father he wasn't to his other son Julian, or he had tired of the music business, or even had writer's block, no one will ever know for sure. Yoko Ono certainly won't tell the truth about it. It wasn't until 1980, when John heard Paul McCartney's "Coming Up" on the radio, a song which he supposedly loved, that he was inspired and spurred to start writing again.

Lennon's last album, "Double Fantasy", features strong material such as, "Just Like Starting Over", "Beautiful Boy", and "Watching the Wheels". Unfortunately, the album consists of several Yoko Ono songs. The song "Woman" is as sappy as any love song Paul McCartney ever wrote. Yet, Lennon never was taken to task for this, due to his death. Instead, Paul gets grief for "My Love", which is a better song than, "Woman".

Taking Yoko Ono out of the equation, if a Beatles reunion were to ever occur, I believe the one they would've had the hardest time getting on board would've been George Harrison. George didn't enjoy playing the part of Beatle George, and despite Paul's public appeals to the contrary, George was not a big fan of Paul. Even during the 1994 Beatles Anthology in sessions, there was tension between the two. He always felt marginalized by him. If you've ever seen the movie, "Let It Be", you'd understand why George felt this way. You'll see Paul in action, behaving like a jack ass throughout the movie.

Fortunately, both Ringo Starr and Paul are still around and still touring. Paul still sings great, plays super, critically acclaimed shows, and carries the Beatles legacy on his back. It's obvious he's still stung by the criticism he's received in the wake of John's death, by the number of Beatles songs he plays in concert (including Lennon and Harrison sung songs) as well as on the 2002 Back In the US live album, changing the songwriting credits to McCartney/Lennon.

Paul finally came to terms with the criticism he received for some of his Wings material (and yes, he deserved to get hammered for some of it), that on his 2010 tour he expanded the number of Wings songs on his set list and has added songs never played live before, as well as some songs that haven't been played live since 1976.

So, the legacy carries on - minus two members, the albums still sell millions of copies all these years later, and the "what if's", about what could've happened to the greatest music group of all time continue on, 40 years after the group broke up.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Taxes, Lies, and Democrats

Every day, I read columns from the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, RealClearPolitics.com, and The Drudge Report. I don't exclusively read conservative only columns, I also like to read those written by liberals. I like to try get inside the head of a liberal and understand how someone can be so out of touch with reality.

Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we have a classic example of liberal scare tactics going on. We have a tight governor's race, where the incumbent Democrat, Deval Patrick, has high disapproval ratings, but is buoyed by the presence of straw man independent gubernatorial candidate, former Democrat Treasurer Tim Cahill, who all of a sudden saw the light and is now an "independent". Without Cahill's presence, Republican candidate Charlie Baker would win in a landslide. Right now, the race is too close to call, but I predict a Baker victory on November 2nd, due to the "energy factor" of disgusted independents and conservative voters.

We also have a controversial (to some) ballot question in which the recently raised sales tax will be cut to 3%. The liberals have already come out with the scare tactics. Old people dying in the streets, children in classrooms of 50 kids, your house will burn down because there are no firemen, etc.

What many of the "sheeple" don't understand is, police, fire, and teachers are mostly funded through property taxes! Local aid does come into the equation, but a vote for a sales tax reduction should not impact these jobs.

This is a classic example of distortion and lies that the Democrats in Massachusetts perpetuate. If you want "services", you have to pay for them. Frankly, I don't need a lot of services. Just plow my streets when it snows, educate my kids, have police and firemen available if I need them. That's not constituting "wanting it all".

I have health insurance through my job, I don't use the Mass Pike, I generally don't use Logan Airport (I fly out of Green in Providence), I don't have a broken family, thus don't require Human Services or public housing, and I don't take the MBTA.

In other words, I'm a productive member of society not requiring a government handout.

The so called dependency on government in this country has become almost mythical. If you don't have a huge state and federal government full of bureaucrats, then if you ever need to collect unemployment, you're out of luck. Are there people who need government assistance? Absolutely, and they should be assisted. However, that doesn't mean that the vast majority of the population requires this level of funding.

This is nanny state dependency has become completely ridiculous. Whatever happened to "rugged individualism"? What amazes me is the number of people who buy into the lies and distortions by liberals and believe their scare tactics.

This is not the 1940's where the Democrats worked out for the working man. The 2010 Democrats only look out for non working people, state workers, special interests, and illegal aliens.

Open your eyes folks. There's a lot to see that's going wrong. Don't vote to continue the free fall of government, where if you're one of them, things are great. If not, pay until it hurts.