Saturday, April 16, 2011

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The America I know is generous and compassionate.  It’s a land of opportunity and optimism.  Yes, we take responsibility for ourselves, but we also take responsibility for each other; for the country we want and the future that we share.  We’re a nation that built a railroad across a continent and brought light to communities shrouded in darkness.  We sent a generation to college on the GI Bill and we saved millions of seniors from poverty with Social Security and Medicare.  We have led the world in scientific research and technological breakthroughs that have transformed millions of lives.  That’s who we are.  This is the America that I know.  We don’t have to choose between a future of spiraling debt and one where we forfeit our investment in our people and our country. 

“Read my lips MFs.”

To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms. We will all need to make sacrifices.  But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in.  And as long as I’m President, we won’t.” – President Barack Obama during his speech on fiscal policy at George Washington University on Wednesday.

OTHER QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“We need to face up to what’s happening: A right-wing minority of the Republican Party has a far greater influence on the governing process than its share of the electorate would justify because its members turn out in large numbers in Republican primaries. … For President Obama, it’s no longer good enough to be seen as the school principal scolding competing gangs. He needs the courage to defend the government he leads.” – Columnist E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post.

“I’ve chosen to work for the man whose record, principles and vision will give us the strongest Republican nominee, who has the greatest chance of victory in November 2012. “[Pawlenty] is someone who knows what he believes and doesn’t need polls to know how to say it, and he has lived honorably in both his public and private life.” – Nick Ayers, recently named as campaign manager for Tim Pawlenty’s presidential run.

“We’d better have a candidate who is out there and very, very strong in opposition to government-run health care and focuses on a health care system that centers on you, not on the government. And that, I think, is a problem for Governor Romney this time around.” – Republican wannabe presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Fox News Tuesday morning.

“I think the citizenship test has been passed. I believe the president was born in the United States. There are real reasons to get this guy out of office. The man needs to be taken out of office but his citizenship isn’t the reason why.” – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow the day after he formally announced that he’s exploring a run for the White House.

ALAN SIMPSON CUTS LOOSE: “Who the hell is for abortion? I don’t know anybody running around with a sign ‘Have an abortion, they’re wonderful.’ They’re hideous. But they’re a deeply intimate and personal decision, and I don’t think men legislators should even vote on the issue.

You’ve got homosexuality. You’ve got don’t ask, don’t tell. We’ve got homophobes in our party. That’s disgusting to me. … If they’re going to get off on that stuff — [former senator Rick] Santorum [Pa.] has said some cruel, cruel things about homosexuals. Ask him about it. See if he attributes the cruelness of his remarks years ago. Foul.

You know, that’s the kind of guys that are going to be on my ticket.” Noting that President Reagan would want Republicans to stick together, Simpson flat out declared, “I’m not sticking with people who are homophobic, anti-women, [talking about] moral values while you’re diddling your secretary, while you’re giving a speech on moral values. Come on, get off of it.” – Former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) during an interview with MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews on Monday.

“I’m a principled reformer, and my goal is to see the country turn around. I’m also committed to being a one-term president [if I were to run] if that’s what it takes in order to turn things around, because this is not about a personal ambition. It’s about getting our financial house in order and to become respected again in the world on an international scale.” Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) in a telephone interview with The Des Moines Register. The funny and blissfully ignorant and ironic thing about this pledge is that she’s going to be a “no-term” president!

“It doesn’t take a genius to see that Obama is very likely to be re-elected. Every few years, Republicans try to reform the welfare delivery systems to make them more market-like. Every few years, voters, even Republican voters, reject this. The situation today is slightly less hostile to these ideas, but not much.” – New York Times columnist David Brooks Ultimate Spoiler Alert  

“The atmosphere out there was just incredible. A phenomenal day.” – 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, moments before the winner’s green jacket was draped over his shoulders. (Schwartzel’s victory came 50 years to the day after his fellow South African, Gary Player, became the first foreign player to win the Masters).

“When you birdie the last four holes at the Masters and you’re around the lead, that usually wins.”- Adam Scott, who tied for second behind Schwartzel.

Despite Strong Start, Record Of Changing Positions Could Prove Problematic For Romney

 “Gosh darn it to h-e- double hockey sticks! Don’t you people get it? I was for healthcare reform before I was against it! Is that really so hard for you caffeine swillers to understand? Gee willikers!”

5 challenges for front-runner Romney   

Potential GOP Candidates Say Obama’s Debt Speech Is ‘Too Little, Too Late’  

Trump’s Clown Show Rolls On     The Cook Report: Trump’s a Joke  

Obama Says ‘Birther’ Claim Will Hurt GOP in 2012  

Knoller reveals Obama’s donor chat  

‘Remarkable leader’  “You are a remarkable leader,”  Jon Huntsman wrote to Obama in an Aug. 16, 2009 note, underlining the word “remarkable,” “and it has been a great honor getting to know you.” Nope, no way this comes back to haunt Jon Huntsman while he mulls running against the Democratic president he’s worked for as ambassador to China since 2009. He’s all good in the ‘hood!

Mitt Romney: Iowa, New Hampshire go first in 2012  

He says Iowa and New Hampshire should hold the first presidential primary contests in the nation next year, not Florida. I’ve got nothing against the people of either Iowa or New Hampshire, but in this day and age of an increasingly  multicultural  America, why two practically all-white states with a combined population of a little bit more than 1% of the nation’s population continue to have so much weight in presidential politics is beyond me.

The President “Unplugged”

Obama to GOP: “You think we’re stupid?”  

THE KIND OF PICTURE THE GOP HATES TO SEE

President Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, April 9, 2011. 

Was President Obama’s brief visit to the Lincoln Memorial last Saturday designed to show Americans that because there was no government “shutdown”, everything was still open as the White House claimed or was it the first public appearance of his recently announced reelection campaign? Even if it wasn’t an “official” campaign appearance, it was an absolutely brilliant move.

RANDOM THOUGHTS
I predict that his Massachusetts healthcare plan will be for Mitt Romney in 2012 what Hillary Clinton’s Iraq War vote was for her during the 2008 campaign: an albatross around his neck that he simply won’t be able to overcome.

If President Obama can avoid the same fratricidal fighting that doomed Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush in 1980 and 1992 respectively, he’s free to move toward the political center and retain the independent voters who were so crucial to his victory in ’08. Meantime, on the other side of the aisle, GOP voters will force their eventual nominee to move to the far, far right during the primary campaign and then watch in horror as he or she tries desperately to scamper back toward the center in time for the fall run.

Isn’t it strangely appropriate that the only Republicans with any name value whatsoever who have voiced any support for Donald ***** so far are Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin? Frankly, I’m at the point now where I’d have more respect for ***** if he just came right out and said, “Look, I don’t think the nigger was born in America and that’s that!”

HE’S GOT THOSE “CRAZY PAUL RYAN EYES!

 “And, if you’re one of the first 500,000 to call and order this crap, excuse me, plan to restore America’s promise, you’ll get your choice of an old, crippled person or welfare mother and her five kids by four different men to come live with your family because if we can somehow trick the Kenyan, excuse me again, the president into signing this, they’ll need a place to live. AND, if you’re willing to make a donation of at least $1,000, we’ll throw in a lesbian couple too! Come on white people born in America, let’s take back our country one cup of tea at a time!” 

Speaking of “taking back America/our country, etc”, why didn’t Republicans and the so-called Tea Party want to do this while Bush 43 (the dumb one) and Cheney (Satan’s spawn) were driving us into the ditch?

I’m not a constitutional attorney nor do I play one on TV, but there’s absolutely no way this Arizona Legislature Approves Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates To Prove U.S. Citizenship doesn’t end up at the Supreme Court before too long. And I’m betting that it will be found to be unconstitutional.

If, and that’s a damn big “if” at this point, John McCain was the “Maverick” he once claimed to be, he could go a long way in putting the “birther” stupidity – I refuse to dignify it by calling it a “controversy” – to rest much as he did about Obama being an Arab in this classic moment during the 2008 campaign McCain Tells Crowd Obama is Not Arab.

The news this week that Academy Award winner and wife of Michael Douglass, Catherine Zeta-Jones, was recently treated for bi-polar disease in a Connecticut clinic, is just one more reminder that stars are people too.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the occasional surprise earthquake over tornadoes and hurricanes EVERY year.

Could this “GMA” nipping at “Today’s” heels be the real reason behind the rumors surrounding both Meredith Vierra and Matt Lauer possibly leaving the show?

 

 

Robin Roberts and the “GMA” crew are nipping at the heels of the first-place “Today” show. “GMA’s” viewership is up 17 percent over this time last year.

The fact that Kobe Bryant admitted to nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dan Patrick that he’s used the word **ggot “several times before” during an interview on Friday just confirms what I’ve written about him since Tuesday’s incident: his anger and frustration during the game didn’t put that word in his mind and mouth, it was already there and he fully intended, apologies be damned, to direct it at referee Bennie Adams in an attempt to hurt and embarrass Adams. Great player, not so great of a person – that’s my call on Kobe Bean Bryant.

The two-month march to the Larry O’Brien Trophy aka the NBA playoffs get under today and there hasn’t been a more wide-open field in years. In the west, no one knows which Laker team will show up – the one that went 17-1 in the first 18 games after the All-Star break – or the one that lost 5 out of 7 down the home stretch, or what to expect from the aging Spurs, the dinged-up Blazers, the rejuvenated after trading arguably their best player Denver Nuggets or if the kids of OKC are ready to take that step up to the big time. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the questions are can the Heat bring it all together like the UCONN men’s team did in winning 11 straight games in the Big East and NCAA tournaments to win a national title, do the ancient Celtics have enough left in the tank, what can the Knicks do and if Derrick Rose can actually will the Bulls out of the first round and possibly to the conference finals.

While many fans, along with Herr Commissioner David Stern and the folks at ESPN/ABC are hoping/praying for yet another Celtics/Lakers finals, my wish is for a Bulls/Lakers 20th anniversary of the only time these two franchises have played each other in the finals. Think of the storylines and possible marketing angles including the fact that Phil Jackson won his first title as a coach with the Bulls in 1991 and could win his 12th (the most in league history) as coach of the Lakers. Magic vs MJ revisited with Kobe and D-Rose. Oh, the drama!!! It could be so good and dramatic that the looming and probable lockout (they’ve already quietly cancelled the Las Vegas summer league) could be forgotten/ignored for a few weeks longer.

THE FREEMAN FLYER 2011 NBA AWARDS

MVP – Derrick Rose  Kept his team in contention despite the fact that he Carlos Boozer and Yoakim Noah only played 29 games together all season.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Blake Griffin  Who else but the future former Clipper?

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR – Lamar Odom  Could start for 29 other teams.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Dwight Howard  The future Laker center is a force in the middle.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – Kevin Love  The last, great hope of white kids across America who dream of playing in the NBA some day.

COACH OF THE YEAR – (tie) Doug Collins (76ers) and Tom Thibodeau (Bulls)  Collins took basically the same team that didn’t make the playoffs last season and turned them into a tough, always in the game cohesive unit that could make waves in the east bracket while career assistant Thibodeau brought his defensive genius and no nonsense approach to basketball to Chicago and got the team’s best player, Derrick Rose, to buy into the system.

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR – (tie) Sam Presti (OKC) and Masai Ujiri (Nuggets)  The former stole Kendrick Perkins from the Celtics and the latter kept his cool and patience before dumping Mr La La Vasquez (along with a rapidly aging Chauncey Billups) on the Knicks and getting back a playoff team in return.

THE DONALD T. STERLING “OH NO HE DIDN’T” AWARD – (tie) Dan Gilbert (Cavaliers) and Donald T. Sterling (Clippers)  Gilbert made sure that former Cavs superstar Le Bron James and his crew couldn’t park in the players private area during the Heat’s recent game-day shoot around at the Quicken Loans Arena in C-town and what other owner besides Sterling could heckle his own players – Chris Kaman and the departed Baron Davis (he’s not dead, he’s just in Cleveland) – from his courtside seat and not have one single person currently living on the planet we call Earth raise an eyebrow in surprise.

THE ALLEN IVERSON STILL WEARING BRAIDS AWARD – (tie) Michael Beasley and Ronny Turiaf  Dudes, you know it’s 2011, right?

I hope Derek Jeter gets his 3,000th career hit, has a good season and then wisely retires because even Ray Charles in his current condition of being dead since June 2004, can see that time has caught up with the Yankee captain.

Did they have the NFL Draft in a secret location and just not tell anyone? 

The Flyer’s prayers are with NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw Terry Bradshaw says he’s feeling effects of concussions. I just hope the NFL and other players, both current and former (I’m looking at you Troy Aikman) heed Bradshaw’s words before it’s too late for them.

FINALLY

Thank you to my family, friends, instructors, counselors for all your prayers, support and help in my being named to the 2010 Fall Semester Dean’s Honor List at Los Angeles Trade Technical College this week. I’m not going to school by myself – you are all with me every step of my journey.  

Stay classy Sacramento, you deserve better.

JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pia Toscano

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