Friday, October 17, 2008


That sterling organization, Playwrights for Pets, will be presenting an evening of short new works as a fund-raiser for Animal Haven on Tuesday, October 28th at 7:30 pm. Three one-acts under the heading, MONSTERS, will hopefully scare up some funds for all the deserving dogs and cats who need a home and bring folks over to check out Animal Haven SoHo at 251 Centre Street, a beautiful facility not only for pet adoption but for training classes, pet supplies and products, etc. Plays for the evening are by Bill Dudley, Stacey Lane and Zeus Moran, which will be read by Erin Cronican, Dena Douglass, Laura Gillis, David Lapkin, Jonna McElrath and John Moss. The requested donation is only $10, with wine or soft drink included, so what more could you ask for? To get there, take the 6 Train to Spring Street stop, N,Q,R,W to Prince Street stop, or B,D,F,V to Broadway/Lafayette stop. Animal Haven is located on Centre Street between Broome and Grand Streets, two blocks South of Spring Street. Reservations should be made by calling 718-768-4213 or e-mailing (Click here for a pdf flyer!)


One week later, the REAL monsters come out from under the bed.


While McCain was more, shall we say, "aggressive" at the final debate, he was also once again misleading. Joe the Plumber, as a small business owner would NOT be fined if he didn't use Obama's health plan, as he is a small business, and with a $3000 tax incentive for each new job he created, it is likely that any additional taxes Joe incurred would be offset. (Of course, it turns out that Joe wasn't a licensed plumber after all, so once again, the McCain team did not properly vet a person before using their name.) But the biggest error of the debate came when Obama said let's talk about issues, not hurt feelings--McCain didn't join him, change course and simply present his own plans. Rather, he went back to associations, name-calling and mudslinging. If McCain is such an agent of change, why didn't he welcome an opportunity to change and deal with what was important? Perhaps this is why, after so many years of being a "maverick" in DC he has not changed it from within--what makes anyone think he'll change it as President?

Finally, I would like to address the whole issue of "spreading the wealth." McCain said Obama's plans would be giving away people's hard-earned dollars when they should choose who to give it to, when and where. This, of course, is the Republican bottom line--keep the money with those who've garnered it versus giving government distribution rights. Senator McCain, the events of just the last few weeks have shown that things DON'T trickle down, that the approach you promote allows the greedy to hog it all for themselves, leading us ultimately to the pickle we're currently in. I'm not saying that people don't deserve to keep what they've honestly earned. But by setting up fair and even distribution, oversight is put into place and people (not just the wealthiest) are protected. It is the "every man for himself" attitude nurtured over the last eight years that has precipitated this crisis--more of the same will not get us out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I've shied away from the political scene for the last several weeks--after all, there have been so many willing to jump in to fill whatever possible void my opinion might have left!

But watching last night's debate, a summary of my thoughts crept in.

  • When asked by moderator Tom Brokaw who might make a good Secretary of the Treasury to replace Paulson, John McCain mentioned Warren Buffett, whom he also identified as an Obama supporter. If one of the smartest investment and finance men in America, John, supports Obama, what does that say about you?

  • When McCain tries to lump Obama in with the excesses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while his own campaign is staffed by former lobbyists from those institutions, it tends to backfire.

  • When John McCain repeatedly talks about his skill in "reaching across the aisle" while constantly failing to engage or look his rival in the eye, one tends to feel he is merely talking the talk.

  • John McCain continually talks about Obama planning to increase taxes, when in point of fact his main thrust is providing tax cuts to the middle class, shows McCain does not have a firm grasp on his opponents' campaign. (Of course, with a humongous looming deficit, one has to wonder how McCain would pay for all those inferior mortgage buybacks he so valiantly put forth?)

  • The only person I ever want to hear describe themselves as a Maverick again is James Garner.

This is not to say that Sen. Obama is flawless--I have been waiting for months and months to know more about his plans. While I know I DON'T like Sen. McCain's healthcare plane (which would tax you on any health insurance benefits given by your employer, along with sending you to another state and costing you more by limiting availability of specific services), I at least feel I really know what it is. Yet Obama is clearly concerned about education and the future of our young people, something McCain never seems to mention. And you can't have it both ways--either you have years and years of experience--which DOES make you an insider, John--or your an outsider reformer, which comes from a detachment that you really don't have, having voted your party's line on most crucial issues.

Finally, let's separate McCain from the Bush administration for a moment. While I agree that it is as foolish to bring up the Keating Five as it is to bring up Obama's association (at age 8?) with the Weatherman, one does have to look at McCain as someone who, all on his own, has screamed for deregulation repeatedly for generations. Now he's saying there needs to be accountability, even when he took away the watchdogs. If you take away the blame game from the Oval Office, the removal of proper oversight falls squarely on shoulders like those of Sen. McCain, making him directly culpable for the excesses that have brought about the current financial mess. (When he and Sarah Palin go on and on about cleaning up the town, I keep wanting to ask, "You and who else?" Is Sarah Palin going to have her little girl staying up all night going over corporate travel and expense accounts for homework? No one would argue that smaller government would be nice, but it doesn't happen by magic, and oversight requires people to do their jobs, preferably with some seriousness.)

John McCain does NOT mark a change, but more of the same--and we see where that's gotten us, don't we?