Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at www.twitter.com/brianhickey Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/people/brianhickey/. Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court: divorcecourting.blogspot.com.

31 May 2009

Heroes of the Week


Bronze: Rolling Stone magazine, for reminding how badly the friggin' Ambien totally freaked me out when I was still hospitalized with getting-run-over-by-a-car injuries. Seriously, I don't care that it treats other people differently, i.e. good-ly. That shit's bound to drive people to kill themselves, or others. When I brained up enough to communicate, one of the first things I told my doctors was: Take me the hell of Ambien. It's driving me insane.
The company that makes Ambien should be ashamed of itself.

Silver: Maureen Krueger, come on down.
CARTHAGE, N.C. (AP) — A prosecutor said Thursday she will seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing eight people during a shooting rampage at a nursing home in central North Carolina.
Moore County District Attorney Maureen Krueger made the statement at a brief hearing in Moore County Superior Court for Robert Kenneth Stewart, 45. (Pictured in a shot that makes me hope they're already brewing up enough lethal injectant to slay a team of oxen.)
About 50 relatives of the victims at Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center in Carthage attended the hearing for their first glimpse of Stewart.
"There's not enough punishment he could receive on the earth that could justify what he took," said Jill DeGarmo, who worked at the nursing home as a medical technician and was engaged to marry nurse Jerry Avant, 39. "He's not crazy. He's pure evil, a man without a conscience."

Yet, the part of me that understands crazy people realizes that the anti-death-penalty contingent will find a way to say, "Opening fire at a nursing home is a good thing" without, you know, saying that verbatim. Now, I realize they're just all in an Ambien Fog. They'll wake up and be ashamed of themselves, I'm sure.

Gold: Sid and Marty Krofft.
So, on Monday, I TiVoed 40 episodes of Land of the Lost. It was a marathon on SciFi TV or something like that. I've watched 20, three of which I earmarked for performance along Cuthbert Boulevard, across the street from McD's with Baxter and Tish. (More on that to come.) After totally getting wigged out by the country-western theme, or how vivid that T Rex that follows the actors to their cave and turns around growlingly was in my subconscious, I said, "Dude, who the hell are Sid and Marty Krofft? Are they still alive? Can I talk to them?" Well, the Times answered the first two of those questions on Sunday.
[T]he Krofft brothers created and became indelibly associated with some of the grooviest Saturday morning children’s television programming of the 1970s, including the colorful hits “H. R. Pufnstuf,” “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters” and “The Bugaloos.” Yet for all the trippy nostalgia the Kroffts have induced, it has been nearly 40 years since one of their shows has been adapted into a film, a drought that ends when “Land of the Lost” (starring Will Ferrell and a bunch of dinosaurs) opens on Friday.

All I gotta say is, "Check. Out. The. Picture. From. HR. Pufnstuf."
Uh, he said Puff and stuff, Beavis, uh huhuhuhuh.
Yeah, yeah, and he looks like a weiner!

Weekend Reading Roundup, Ebony vs. Ivory vs. Other Edition (And I'm taking sides)

I think Robert Nesta Marley put it best when he said, "So much trouble in the world. Bless my eyes this morning. Jah sun is on the rise once again. The way earthly things are going. Anything can happen." Because, there's a lotta trouble out there right about now, and the anything that can -- and will -- happen is my passing judgement upon it. Here are just a few of the cases on the docket (and some misc. stuff that bears mentioning):

Serena Williams vs. Marina Jose Sanchez: Serena hits an Orca of a shot that hits Marina's right arm, sails across the net and lands on Serena's side for a point and game. Rule says if it hits your body, the point goes to your opponent. Courtesy says you admit this. Marina didn't. Said Serena, "I’m going to get you in the locker room for that; you don’t know me." Decision: Serena. Chick's badass, yo.

Disney's The Princess and the Frog vs. Black Voices website: The studio finally makes an African-American the focal point of a dreams-come-true plot. Critics pick it apart because her prince's skin-shade isn't quite black. Wrote Angela Bronner Helm on the site, "Disney obviously doesn’t think a black man is worthy of the title of prince. His hair and features are decidedly non-black. This has left many in the community shaking their head in befuddlement and even rage." Decision: Disney, for chipping away at stereotypes. So what if the African-American princess digs white dudes. 2009's all about togetherness, not stating the obvious that black guys are worthy of royalty. (Psst, one's the president.) And, they're responsible for The Little Mermaid, and Sebastian rocked, after all.

John Mayberry vs. The Inquirer: Mayberry hits a homer in his first game, at Yankee Stadium, no less. Inky columnist says even though the team needs righthanded power off the bench, Mayberry should return to the minors. Outfield's full. Decision: Inky columnist. Victorino, Werth and Ibanez are beyond good enough at this point and Mayberry needs more swings to professionalize himself.

U.S. Solicitor General vs. Philly law firm: Cozen O'Connor fighting a case for insurers and 9/11 victims that argues Saudi Arabia should pony up mad cash because it financed al-Qaeda, albeit unknowingly. Elena Kagan argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that we can't sue foreign governments except if they meet the exceptions that S. Arabia doesn't. Decision: Kagan. As much as it troubles me to say it, rules is rules.

Jon, Kate, Eight vs. Wernersville: Decision: Wernersville. Saudi Arabia should pay them mad cash for having to deal with that choppy-headed bitch who thinks she's better than everybody (even her brood) when she's better than nobody. Poor Jon and Eight. Poor, poor Jon and Eight.

Misc:
-- Constantine Maroulis in the Times: Does he ever watch his old "Idol" performances? "I can't. I was so bad on that show."
-- Gene Forman in, and on the glory days of, the Inquirer: "...turbulent changes in technology and the economy are jeopardizing the future of good metropolitan newspapers like The Inquirer. That should be of grave concern to citizens who care about their community. Although I love newspapers and worked more than 40 years in newspaper journalism, this is not about nostalgia. How the news is delivered is less important than the quality of the news itself. It takes money - a lot of money - to finance a good news organization, whether the news is delivered in print, in broadcast, or online."
-- Todd "I'm Here for the Gangbang" Phillips on The Hangover in the Times: On this film Mr. Phillips learned he need not resort to gross-out jokes to prove his audacity. For example he recalled a shoot with Mr. Tyson (who plays himself in cameo, searching for his missing tiger), when he had to tell him that he wasn’t throwing a punch correctly for the camera. Mr. Phillips said: "Mike immediately goes, 'Oh, man, this is great. I'm getting taught to punch by the captain of the Jewish debating team.'"

30 May 2009

The Gospel According to John Horne

All praise to Freddie Morgan for getting John Horne's post-Tyson/Holyfield "press conference" stuck in my 'ead. The magic starts 51 seconds in. By magic, I mean someone explaining how Holyfield was "jumpin' around the ring like a lil BITCH."

Freddie on Jay's Final Show


Watched Leno this morning, TiVoed from last night. Twas his last show. Except for those he'll do five nights a week at 10 p.m. starting in Fall.
Anyway, Freddie "Mr. 4th and 26" Mitchell seems to have turned up in highlights of a skit in which Jay asks stupid people simple questions to which they can't find they answer. Freddie's were:
1. Name two of the founding fathers? "Of what?" The country. "Naaah. Don't know that."
and 2. Who was the first president? "Benjamin ... Benjamin Franklin."
Christ.

What I downloaded this week (that you should too)

Myself said to myself: Hey, why not share a song each week that you downloaded, you know, to recommend that people pony up 99 or 129 cents as well?
Myself responded: Yeah, that's a pretty cool idea. But since you're just starting it after, oh, a few years with your iPod, you should start with a few, you know?
To which myself concluded: That's a grand idea.
1. "Insane," Eminem. And I quote, "Don't you know what feltch means? Yeah, well then tell me, would you rather get feltched or do the feltching?"
2. "Heavy Cross," The Gossip. Haven't heard of them? Well, you will soon. A lot. Chick's voice is sick.

3. "1901," Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Just had to see why all the folks were pumping up how a group from the land that inspired Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast could save the music. This one has a futuristic eighties feel, like a reversed "Safety Dance" video if it was, like, from 2016.
4. "Furr," Blitzen Trappen. Fine, I've had this one for a while, but it's on heavy rotation, especially since it's totally made for sitting on a deck in the summertime and chilling, even if you can't drink or smoke for a wee-bit longer. So you, reading this: Drink, smoke, listen to this track and send relaxin' vibes my way.
5. "Lee Majors Come Again," Beastie Boys. Um, note to those in charge of cracking down on pirate tunes: I did not download this song, even though it's already been leaked and it's the first ditty from the Beasties in a while and the Beasties are, like, my boys. Beleedat, Netty's Girl.

And may the Warren Times Observer follow in the steps of Alan Berg


The fact that print media suffers from a dearth of classified ads? Yeah, well it's probably a good thing if this is any indication:
WARREN, Pa. - The local newspaper apologized yesterday for running a classified advertisement calling for the assassination of President Obama.
Publisher John Elchert said the ad appeared Thursday in the Warren Times Observer. It read, "May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!" All four presidents were assassinated.

Elchert, Eichmann. Eichmann, Elchert.

29 May 2009

Oratorical History (altered forever)


"If you prick me, do I not bleed?" A. Kade, 11:44 a.m., 05.29.09

Presented with nothing but pity for both Vincent and Mia


Not even the same ballpark as a below average Travolta-impersonator.
Why is this happening to us all?
Though, I'd pay to see Kade in the role of "The Gimp." Or, at a minimum, ball-gagged and "gone medieval" upon.

In tha House wit ... Prince Zimboo?


I don't read Slate all that often. I don't think that makes me less of a person, either. But, the lead alone on a Slate story caught me eye this morn'. (Ok, it was the tease line when I checked out of Hotmail that read, "Who's this hip-hop Borat?") To wit:
He has 999 wives. He hails from an unnamed region of central Africa ("a thin layer of impenetrable rainforest," he tells interviewers) known only as d'bush. His name is Prince Zimboo Abakunamabooba, and if he sounds fishy to you, he should. Outlandish back stories are common in hip-hop—a genre perched on the fault line between tell-it-like-it-is verité and winking artifice—but Zimboo's mythology is patently unbelievable, 100 percent wink. Is he a loon? A comedian? A walking 419 scam, claiming African royalty as part of some elaborate performance-art hoax?

Loon? Comedian? Ah, read it to find out. All I know is it gave me the first excuse in a coupla years to post this video, so my country can be free.

We must make travel easy, so I tell you what to do.
God, I can't wait till Bruno arrives in theatres.

Well that was quick, Inquirer!

When she was leaving for work early this morning, the bride noted that, "you know what, they're throwing the Inquirer right by the front door each morning, under the eave to keep it dry." Now, I hadn't been sure if she was doing that, or they were. But I do know that it started happening shortly after May 3, when I posted, post-Pacquiao fight:
(Note to Inquirer: If you don't want people who like to read your paper to cancel their home delivery, tell your deliverypeople not to leave the papers in puddles, or use bags like the Times does to protect your product.)

Are the two related? Know, I don't. But if it is, um, sorry deliveryperson for getting you jammed up and all, but my appreciated will be amply reflected in the Christmas tip. I was a paperboy, too. Except, I used a bike. And I didn't much care if the Courier-Post customers on Emerald, Virginia and Center avenues got dry product.
Karma, huh?

28 May 2009

I'm no Arthur Kade...

... and for that, I'm thankful. Very, very thankful, since that means nobody I'm related to offers to perform abortions on co-workers.
But, like I'd mentioned the other day, I too have a story in the June issue of Philly Mag.

No, I didn't focus on my "enormous shoulders," my friend's just-plain-horrible cover band named MoFaux, the Kade Korner at Cosi, or the inevitability of me besting Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in an act-off.
Rather, I focused on, you know, getting run over by a car, put into a coma so my brain could get back to normal-size and struggling to learn to walk, think and talk again. Little stuff like that, not even comparable to what Kade's gone through, I'm sure. You can read the full story here. That picture up top? Ryan Donnell took it, among many great shots he got at the corner when I was mowed down on Nov. 28. His site's ryandonnell.com. With me (and my neat-o hair part) is the first person who made sure to help save my life.
College student Michael Freeman saw the taillights of a “dark sports car, navy blue or black.” When his pit bull, Candy, kept barking at the window, he went outside.
“I found you lying on your stomach, just moaning, bleeding,” says Freeman, who noticed 15 feet of skid marks and called 911.

I'll never be able to find the words to tell Michael and everybody else how thankful I am. Hope you enjoy the story. But don't worry, I know my voyage back from the brink of death in no way compares to "The Journey" Kade is on.

Reading Roundup (Thursday edition)


Got through a few mags after watching Barca crush Womanchester United, just like I said they would. (Kneel before Zod.) In Sports Illustrated, a brief about The Fridge facing some health compications, Rudy Giuliani's spoiled-brat of an evil-seed son was (rightfully) likened the Carl Spackler (of Caddyshack) for his approach to suing Duke after he got kicked off the golf team (Spackler exempted, more evil people in one phrase than I ever thought possible), Selena Roberts on the near-extinction of college tennis and this little Sign of the Apocalypse ditty:
During a Mets game a plumber had to be called to Citi Field to free a woman whose arm got stuck in a toilet when she tried to retrieve a lost gold tooth.
Awesome.

The New Yorker has a piece about how costlier health care is often worse health care. And Men's Health (for whom I just finished the first draft of my story that will appear in the November issue), has Danica Patrick looking f.i.n.e. on a dusty old road (shame the f.i.n.e. photo ain't online), but says some u.n.f.i.n.e. things about Philly. Namely, that we're only behind Jacksonville, Fla. in its "Capitals of Cancer" rankings.
Not awesome.

Another health-insurance nightmare

Absolutely troubling column by Dave Davies in the Daily News today. Former Inky columnist Steve Lopez's son Andrew got jumped in Germantown. That wasn't the worst part. The fact that the insurance company (and the cops) didn't seem to give two sh*ts was.
Doctors at Chestnut Hill Hospital told Andrew the blow had crushed several bones in the left side of his face, and he'd need a facial surgeon. They recommended Temple University Health Systems and gave his mother, Kathy, a phone number.
There was one little hitch. Though Andrew had recently earned a master's in library science, he was looking for work and thus without health insurance.
Kathy Lopez spent the next day in a series of phone calls and visits far too numerous to detail here, but the bottom line of this disgraceful story is that when Temple heard Andrew had no health insurance, they refused to schedule his surgery.
One Temple rep even told Kathy on the phone it was irresponsible for Chestnut Hill Hospital to send her son to Temple without insurance.
"I was absolutely shocked when he said there's nothing we can do for you," Kathy Lopez told me. "I just couldn't believe it."
Temple spokeswoman Rebecca Harmon said privacy rules prevent her from discussing specific cases.

Side note to Temple spokeswoman Rebecca Harmon: I've found that privacy rules DON'T prevent hospitals from discussing specific cases when I signed a simple piece of paper allowing them to talk to me for stories about my hit-and-run. Even after I questioned my insurance company's humanity.
You might want to have a better "protect-ourselves-PR-wise" line next time.
And best of luck recovering Andrew. If they screw you over on outpatient-therapy like they did me, get in touch.

27 May 2009

Barca! Real Housewives! Read all about both!


My Dead Zone-esque ability to pick winners continues! First, Mine That Bird. Now, Barcelona makes Ronaldo whine. Muy bien.
And, another Real Housewives of New Jersey post by me, now up on nj.com. Muy, muy bien.

Kade Alert. Kade Alert. Kade Alert.

Read the story once here. Then, go and spend $4.99 on it.
(Mad props to T. Haas for making fantasy a reality.)

Sweet Lord Jesus

Yeah, so, um, Kade posted about his Philly Mag piece a full 19 hours after I did. Guess he didn't see the comments ravaging him and his feral-fingered pops. To wit:
Today, Arthur Kade took another amazing step towards the end goal of becoming one of the most famous, recognizable and well known actors in the world. The premiere and most famous magazine in the fifth largest city (Philadelphia) in the US did a feature on my life, and on my brand, and the story was kick ass. “The Journey” has moved so quickly that sometimes I have trouble catching my breath, and even though I know that I am destined for the top, things like this validate that I am becoming a star and a household name, and that the whole world is watching my growth as an actor. The writer, Dan Lee, followed me around for almost two weeks, and I wanted to share it with all of you then, but he asked for me to keep it mum until the issue came out, and I am always respectful to people. I show up under the “Celebrity” section, the article is fiercely written, and shows my story from a human and social standpoint from someone who was with me at different times during that period, and you can see all aspects of my life and how sick it is.


Look at that gimp face. And brain.

Wednesday Roundup

I gots me a ton of stuff to do (i.e. Real Housewives post on nj.com; put the finishing touches on a Men's Health article) before the 2:45 p.m. tapoff of Barca/ManU (3-2, Barca) so this'll be short and sweet/sour. First allow me to say that Philly Mag has clearly tapped into a vein with its great decision to turn a writer loose on the Kademeister. I insist you buy a physical copy at the newsstand for $4.99; you'll want to have it even after the machines rise up and take over. Why do I say that? Oh, because this blog as gotten nearly 1,000 hits since I posted about it yesterday afternoon. For context, that's more views than anyday after people heard I was just about dead at Cooper. I don't know how I should feel about that.
In any event, I also have a column in the Metro today...
I waited to call Seth Williams until a few days after he trounced four Democratic opponents who pined for the “next district attorney of Philadelphia” title. It was ample time, I thought, to decompress after his five-year mission reached near-apex, despite the challenges that accompany being outspent two-to-one and outslimed five-to-none.


I watched what could be the last episode of Reaper last night. It was good. But it was bittersweet because the show is on the cancellation chopping block. When I made mention of my hellacious fury over that fact last week, someone called ReaperDMV -- nice touch, if you know the show -- commented to turn my attention to a campaign to keep it on the air. If you believe in anything just and good, you'll check it out and take action.
And, finalamente, I received a press release from the Delaware River Port Authority about their "Public Safety Officer Annual Awards Ceremony" that start at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. Immediately, I started wondering who would take the prestigious "Officer who bravely stops SpeedLine passengers from driving off from the Collingswood station hammered so they wouldn't hit, oh, someone named Brian."
The answer: Nobody, because that's not a priority. Though, taking reward posters down at their stations most certainly is. Ba-dum-bum.
Hickey, OUT.

26 May 2009

Free the O.J.

(CNN) -- Attorneys for imprisoned former football great O.J. Simpson on Tuesday appealed his conviction to the Nevada Supreme Court, claiming his trial was "fundamentally unfair."

Ok, so he killed two people and got away with it. Fine. But, you gotta admit, the payback second trial was kind of, well, wrongful. Even The Dude would say so, man.

Zezel Dead at 44

Wow. This one renders me speechless.
Former NHL player Peter Zezel passed away at a Toronto hospital, after a long battle with a blood disorder.
Zezel, 44, spent the last 10 years being treated for haemolytic anaemia, a rare disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them.

Panaccio's take on CSN.
So sad to see a childhood hero go.

Help Build the Kade Brand Worldwide

The Greatest Story Ever Told

I hold, in my very hands, the June issue of Philadelphia Magazine. I insist you camp out at the nearest newsstand now until it arrives. It may be a couple days. That matters not. Read the rest of this, grab your woobie and go.
This is self-serving only in that a 3,000-word piece written by me, about me, starts on page 50. But don't you dare turn immediately to page 50. You'd only be wasting your time. Because, ok, deep breath ....
THERE IS A STORY ABOUT ARTHUR KADYSHES, AKA ARTHUR KADE, AKA THE GREATEST AMERICAN DOUCHEBAG AND HIS "JOURNEY."
No, seriously. Think about it: I was going to put a copy or two away for my kids to read, when I have kids, when they can read, anyway. But now, I'm going to fucking bronze it or laminate it or put it in a fucking strongbox to keep it forever and ever and ever. A couple excerpts, that I have to type in since it's not online yet:
"[Arthur's father] Leonard is, apparently, a full-fledged character in his own right; five years ago, according to court papers, a state committee found he had unfairly fired a salon colorist after repeatedly sexually harassing her, touching her breasts and rear, and telling her that he would perform an abortion on her himself if she ever became pregnant."

Yeah, he runs the Raya Coiffure Boutique in Haverford. And, he's a dirtbag. Seriously, a placenta-lapping douchebag.
Ok, ok, I haven't read past that point yet. I dropped everything and ran to the laptop because:
THAT IS SO FUCKING DISGUSTING YET SO EMBLEMATIC OF EVERYTHING KADE. I mean, that colorist had to be a 4 or a 5, tops, to get Kade's attention.
Other notes: Kade has adult acne. Kade is renting his condo out so he lives on "friends'" couches. Kade said his site gets hundreds of thousands of hits since Philebrity and Gawker and Jezebel started ripping him.
Well, it's time for me to go upstairs and scan the first page so I have a photo of this mess that will only end in tragedy -- or abortion threats. And you have to go buy Philadelphia Magazine. Fare thee well.
(Here it is!)

25 May 2009

Shake and Bake

This should tell you all you need to know about how great of a dude Shawn McBride is: After I read his book Green Grass Grace (at the recommendation of Kevin Shelly, who pushed me toward great work at the A.C. Press), I asked Lori Hill (who was arts editor at the City Paper part of the time I was there) to give him a call so I could meet -- and drink at the Khyber with him.
I wouldn't call it fanboyism, but I considered him a great talent from Philly. Hence, he would make a great drinking pal, both from a writerly standpoint, and from the fact that he worked full-time at the Criminal Justice Center, the bastion of all great Philly stories. Blurry story short: He was hilarious. I should have extended a standing invite to throw a few back at Krupa's.
All of which is to say a column about him in the Saturday Inquirer caught my eye immediately. Seems that the grass was greener in olden times for Shawn.
"Hey, not much new. Won a Pew Fellowship, got married, had a kid, bought a house, published a book in Russia but got stiffed by the Russian publisher, sold a movie option, got divorced, declared bankruptcy. You know, that old chestnut."
Actually, he sold the movie option twice. He's 37, divorced a second time, now has a daughter from each union, Chloe and Zoe, the rhyming not his idea. "I'm one baby mama away from being a defendant."

He's been working (and working, and working) on the follow-up, as well.
McBride's novel is about Santa.
Also, a snowman named Burl - yes, Burl Ives - "who is a bitter alcoholic with anger issues who hates Frosty," McBride says over a power lunch of grilled cheese and fries. "Santa's in a huge existential crisis. He hangs out with B-listers like David Hasselhoff, David Faustino, who played Bud Bundy, and Jaleel White, who was Urkel." Locales include the North Pole, Northern Liberties and the Badlands.
His working title: A Very Merry F Peter Cottontail Philly Christmas.

I wish him all the best in getting AVMFPCPC finished.
And Shawn, if you happen to see this, drop me a line. Would love to catch up. Preferably, once I'm cleared to drink again.

Happy Kademorial Day


The full YouTube collection here.

24 May 2009

Weekend Reading Roundup (Holiday Weekend Quickness)


Shady's Back: Saw Eminem on the Jimmy Kimmel show the other night. Observations? Didn't like how he showed the physical tell-alls of a dude fresh off a pill-popping phase, or how it looked like the turntables were handling some of the lyricism. Did like how he shook the pills last April and how a couple tracks off his new album make me have to turn the iPod dock down when I'm listening to it outside. Especially the parts about getting raped by his step-papa. I'm'a go see him live for a third time if he's touring.
In one song, “Must be the Ganja” — which rhymes “dilemma,” “Dalai Lama” and “Jeffrey Dahmer” — he boasts about being able to name “every serial killer who ever existed” in chronological order along with all the details of their murders. Mr. Mathers said that was him: watching documentaries and writing down information, “dates and times and places.” He was fascinated by “serial killers and their psyche and their mind states.”
He continued, “You listen to these people talk, or you see them, they look so regular. What does a serial killer look like? He don’t look like anything. He looks like you. You could be living next door to one. If I lived next door to you, you could be.”
Was that Slim, or Eminem, or Marshall? “That was Marshall,” he said. “Uh-oh, I mean, that was Shady.”



Actually, I think that refers to Cheney:
In an interview broadcast yesterday on NBC's Today show, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates called the facility on the island of Cuba "probably one of the finest prisons in the world today." At the same time, he said it had become "a taint" on America's reputation.

Uh-huhuhuhuh, he said taint.
Yeah, yeah, taint.

Etc.:
Sea Isle cops in the New York Times talking about the noise violations that brought them, early and often, to the bay block of 91st St. from '96 to '00.
Newspaper talking about how the future isn't as dire for newspapers as those who revel in their supposed demise think, hope or snarkily latch onto in pursuit of webhits rather than journalistic contributions to society. (Ironically, the Inquirer story about those who want to make more money off the web doesn't appear to be, well, on the web. Irony.)
Seems that teachers in Lititz, Pa. looooooove them some studentfolk a bit too much. Aw.
Tha Pope takes to tha tubes.
The original "Survivor" Richard Hatch is in town. At a halfway house. After being released from a federal pen in W.V. He'll walk, preferably clothed, on Oct. 7.
From Popular Science, stories about how digging under Lake Ellsworth on Antarctica and searching for life from millenia past (no link on popsci.com yet, though), how cpus may improve rather than drain our brains (see previous note in parenthesis), and Invention Awards for, among other things, SixthSense and a skyscraper-scaling escape mechanism.
Finalamente, GQ comes correct with Andrew Corsello's interview with Bruce Wayne, pieces about the Chessboard Killer (not online) and how toxic sludge killed a Tennessee city, and pictures of Olivia Wilde about whom Megan Fox said is "so sexy she makes me want to strangle a mountain ox." Like, this picture:

23 May 2009

LoGrasso

That kid who just threw the first pitch out at Yankee Stadium look familiar? Yeah, he did to me, too.

Sweet F'in Christ

I'm now convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only is Kade real, but he's knitting a lady-suit in his basement. Instead of asking his potential victims if they're a "size 14," he's content with 9s.
I had people coming up to me all night to meet me with one person telling me that “You are intimidating, you’re like the next Tucker Max”, and another person telling me “You are the most famous person here”. I hate comparisons to people who are on totally different career tracks then me; I am an up and coming actor, and Tucker Max just writes about sexual experiences. Sometimes I just want to relax, and forget all the eyes and stares at me while I’m out because of how big I am getting, and one guy actually asked me, “Is this a paid appearance?” and I responded “What are you talking about?” because I was in “off” mode where I just wanted to be Arthur Kade with his friends, and not a celebrity.


Dancing to Madonna? Kade officially out.

22 May 2009

The line between reality and douchbaggery disappears for good.





Quick question:
1. Is the bitchboy laughing at Kade, or with Kade?

Why I'm Pissed Off...

Because Reaper and My Name is Earl and Pushing Daisies got cancelled. Damn TV execs.

I got it made, got it made, got it made. I'm hot for teacher...

Mmmmmary Kay Letourneau. Such a lady. I can't begin to tell you the depths of my fascination with her story. Was the first tabloid-type piece I allowed myself to get consumed by. And here she and Vili are, dredging it all up again. Thank you Jebus. Thank you, thank you.
SEATTLE (AP) - Mary Kay Letourneau and her former sixth-grade student — the father of her two youngest children — are hosting a "Hot for Teacher" night at a Seattle nightclub.
Letourneau, now 47, served 7 1/2 years in prison after she was convicted of raping Vili Fualaau, now 26. They were married four years ago this week.
The bar's owner said Letourneau has served her sentence, she's married her former student, and it's OK for them to have some fun on a Saturday night.
Mike Morris, owner of Fuel Sports Eats & Beats, said this is the third time Letourneau and Fualaau have hosted a "Hot for Teacher" night at the nightclub.
The event begins at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
The couple first met when Fualaau was in the second grade. Their relationship became sexual when he was 12 and she was a 34-year-old married mother of four.

Mansion Baseball

Heckuva baseball weekend, what with Hamels taking on Sabathia at new Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Since the Phils are out of town, the only baseball game in town, then, is the kickoff of the Strawberry Mansion All-Stars Little League. Looking for an uplifting way to start Memorial Day weekend? Go to 33rd and Diamond (the 32 bus drops you right at the corner of Mander Playground, which the field is located behind) and see if I can throw the first pitch more than five feet, thus proving that Mansion kids are far better suited for baseball than I. First ceremonial pitch around 10:30 a.m.
9 am T-Ball Opening Game
10 am Ages 8-12 Opening Game
12:15 pm Ages 13-16 Opening Game
2:30pm Girls’ Softball Opening Game

Defending A.I

SI's Chris Ballard had an interesting column in this week's issue about Allen Iverson. (Full disclosure: I've written about, and genuinely liked, Allen.)
By interesting, I mean arrogant.
And a Larry Brown suck-up.
And while it may be accurate that, lately, teams seem to get better when AI leaves them, borderline offensive.
And, well, entirely off-base since he seems to have forgotten that the Pistons made the Billups-for-Iverson trade for salary-cap-clearing purposes.
A couple excerpts:
Maybe that 76ers run to the Finals in 2001 was more the masterwork of Larry Brown, a coach smart enough to minimize the liabilities of a 6-foot, ball-dominating two guard. After all, with Brown, AI's Sixers averaged 45 wins in full seasons; without Brown, they averaged 34.

Actually, that 76ers run to the Finals in 2001 was more the masterwork of Allen being in his career prime while Brown was here and Pat Croce being the lone person who could balance AI's precocious (borderline greedy) personality with Brown's beyond-borderline need to be respected and famed.
That, and Allen being MVP of the league. Will you question this week's cover-boy LeBron in such a manner when he's still ringless after 13 years? Hope so. But don't think so since you wrote this:

Strike one.

Hell, if Iverson wanted to play on my rec league team, I'd have to think twice. Sure we'd kill everybody, but who needs another thirtysomething guy who can't pass?

Exposing your angle as a personal grudge, are ya?
Strike two.

(I tried to ask Iverson, but he passed on an interview request.)

Gee, I wonder why.
Strike three. Looks like Allen isn't the only one who needs some prack tiss for his craft to improve.

21 May 2009

Final Jeopardy

A: Who will own the soon-to-open Franklin Square PATCO stop once he proves that PATCO forced a near-fatal hit-and-run case to remain unsolved because they don't have working cameras or even a modicum of security to stop drunken passengers from staggering off the train into their car in the Collingswood station parking lot, and swering all over the road leaving the lot and running him over?
Q: Brian Hickey.

To which I say, "Thank you oh so much, DRPA and PATCO, for thinking ahead to pad your wallets instead of wasting a dime to keep your customers safe! Whore pit vipers."

And here's why America shouldn't have been surprised that Glambert is not the American Idol


From my review of The Killers show, May 10, on phrequency.com:
... Adam’s idolization will end in with a final-week loss. Some of middle and southern America are ready for a black President, but there’s no way that the ignorant will vote for a guy who posted pictures of himself kissing another guy.

Granted, I thought Gokey would beat him, so that saves you from the "told ya sos." But still.
(AP photo)

From the Anybody Could Have Told You That Files

From today's Inquirer:
Leonard P. Luchko, former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo's hapless aide and zealous operative in Fumo's efforts to stage a digital coverup, told a judge yesterday that he had finally made up his mind about his old boss.
Fumo, Luchko said, was nothing more than "a common thief."
"Sen. Fumo, a man I idolized for being the champion of the little guy, he'd been lying to me the whole time," Luchko said.

It's great to see people who used to be at His Lowness' demanding beck-and-call are wising up and seeing that Vinnie was a dirtbag all along. I may go watch his perp walk into federal prison. I wonder if the authorities frown on people pelting the prisoners with bottles of high-end hairspray and vacuum bags.

This is How We Do

The music? Loves it.

Bling, bling, money? Correct. Saying it's in Compton? Incorrect. That's clearly the Rio in Vegas behind him.

Bonus picture:

20 May 2009

Real Housewives of NJ

My post is up on nj.com. And, before you read it, let me just say that Dina brought Jame Gumb up, not me.
"I have to question (Danielle's) sanity. The girl's freaking obsessed. I don't know if she wants to be me or skin me and wear me like last year's Versace," Dina said before evoking The Silence of the Lambs. "I just picture over and over in my head that I'm in her basement putting lotion on."


Yes Precious, it gets the hose.

If I can't pitch, I'm taking my virtual kickball and going home

Yep, it's Snitday. Because Philadelphians are so stupid-dupid that they not only didn't vote for The Vigilante, but He came in last place. Well, F- the voters. The Vigilante will always be a judge in my mind. As punishment, the only blogging I'll do today is writing about the Real Housewives of New Jersey for nj.com like last week.
Shame on Philadelphia. Nobody puts Ted Vigilante in the corner.

19 May 2009

My first question...

... for Democratic nominee for the office of District Attorney Seth Williams is a two-parter.
First part: How much time would you dedicate to prosecuting victimless crimes like this one...
Earlier today — with help from the Fire Department, a laser and the Jaws of Life — police finally opened the vault and gazed at the hidden treasure: 243 pounds of marijuana, worth about $1.4 million, according to Narcotics Capt. Debra Frazier.
Now that the riddle of “What’s in the vault?” has been solved, investigators are trying to determine which local drug supplier owned the hefty safe, Frazier said.

Second part: Can you ask the police to explain how, exactly, they can look at themselves in the mirror after publicly stating that a pound of marijuana is Philly-street-valued at $5,761.32?
Best I can tell that's just an outright lie, designed to keep the War on Drugs humming along. A war that, mind you, the drug czar brought to a linguistic end the other day. Just like I said he should have done in the Metro back in March. (Another Dead Zone prediction bears fruit!)
I mean, hypothetically, if an ounce goes for $120, that makes a pound (16 ounces, right?) worth $1,420. Thus, 243 pounds clocks in at $345,060. Which translates into a million-dollar inflation at the hands of Johnny Law. Hell, if an ounce is $240, it still only clocks in at $690,120.
But maybe my math's just totally off at 10:52 p.m. If someone can prove me wrong, have at it.

Fe Fi Fo Fum

Insurance Companies < Whore Pit Vipers


From my inbox, something troublingly similar to the column I wrote about my own insurance company for the Inquirer:

Dear MoveOn member,
Breaking news on health care: The Washington Post is now reporting that insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield "is putting the finishing touches on a public message campaign aimed at killing a key plank in Obama's reform platform."
The Huffington Post sums it up as "Insurers Planning on Double-Crossing Obama."
We knew the insurance companies would eventually turn on the president, but this is much sooner than expected. And they're targeting the public health insurance option—the crucial piece that will help cover everyone. So we're immediately launching a rapid-response campaign to go toe-to-toe with Blue Cross Blue Shield and win quality health care for all Americans.
We need to raise $150,000 in the next two days. It's a lot, but we'll need every penny to take on Goliath. We'll run ads, hold events, and work like crazy to get the real truth out to voters. AND we'll keep the pressure on Congress to make sure they don't get bullied into gutting the president's plan to guarantee health care coverage for everyone. Can you chip in $35 right now to make it happen?
The public health insurance option is a key provision in Obama's plan to help cover all of us. It would finally give everyone the choice between keeping our current insurance or switching to a new, high-quality public plan. And under a public health insurance plan our premiums wouldn't subsidize CEO salaries or stockholder profits (or in this case, misleading attack ads), so we'd all save a lot on health care costs.
Plus, if we had the choice of a public plan, private insurers would have to lower rates and improve quality to compete, so they're dead set against it. Today's news just confirms that fact.
In the past, Blue Cross Blue Shield has been sued for underpaying doctors and fined for refusing to cover necessary medical treatments for their customers. Now, with what watchdog group Media Matters calls a "desperate attempt to deceive," they've gone one step too far.
Can you chip in $35 to help stand against Blue Cross Blue Shield and pass health care reform with a strong public option?
Thanks for all you do.

Putrid, but what else to you expect from people inferior to even neo-Nazis?

No Whammie, No Whammie, No Whammie, Stop

You know, I always figured that when Michael Irvin and Nate Newton got their own TV show, it would involve vans filled with weed and cokewhores. (I'd watch religiously, btw). So, imagine the bittersweet vibe I felt when the show they got -- "4th and Long" started on Spike TV this week -- is about wannabe-pro footballers trying to be the one out of 12 WRs and DBs to make the Cowboys roster next year.
I find it utterly hilarious that they're trying to fill the sizable footprints of American Hero Adam "Pacman" Jones and Closeted Now-Bill Terrell Owens. F'real, f'real. But imagine my utter disappointment when one of the contestants Steve "Speedy" Gonzalez was introduced. Because Speedy wants to leave the Philadelphia Soul to join the Cowgirls. To which I say, Yo Speedy, your Philly privileges are hereby revoked.

Simple Thought


Does the utter lack of turnout in today's election mean that I'll have to revise my D.A. predictions to slide the third place finisher into first, the first to second, and the second to third? Here's what I posted at 2:45 p.m. yesterday:
5th place: Michael Turner 5 pct.
4th place: Brian Grady 18 pct.
3rd place: Dan McCaffery 20 pct.
2nd place: Dan McElhatten 28 pct.
1st place: Seth Williams 29 pct.

I'm starting to think I could be very, very wrong.

18 May 2009

"I, Ginger, take you, Ginger, to be my lawfully wedded ginger"?


Cynthia Nixon is making it official with her girlfriend of nearly six years, education activist Christine Marinoni.
The Sex and the City star, 43, showed off her diamond engagement ring at the Love, Peace and Marriage Equality rally for gay rights in New York City Sunday. The event supported New York governor David Paterson's proposed bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
Nixon has said she would wed "if it became legal in New York. "I don't really want to get married to get married pretend. I think we'd like to do it in a real, actual, legal way that the state would recognize."
The actress is mom to Samantha, 12, and Charles, 6, from her prior relationship with English professor Danny Mozes
.

Someone who's dumber than all of Pittsburgh combined


And, believe you me, that's saying something. With no further ado, meatbag Steelers linebacker James Harrison:
"If you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he would have invited Arizona if they had won.'' -- Harrison, explaining why he will refuse to accompany his team on a trip to the White House to see President Obama.

Um, James, FYI, he would have invited Arizona if the refs didn't steal the title from them. You see, over the course of American modern history, Presidents have taken to welcoming the winners in various sports to the White House for a celebration. Football, baseball, basketball, et cetera (which means "and so forth," James.) Then again, they probably don't have many history classes at Kent State.

D.A. Race Predictions **UPDATED**


Here's how I think the election will breakdown by around 11 p.m. tomorrow night:
5th place: Michael Turner 5 pct.
4th place: Brian Grady 18 pct.
3rd place: Dan McCaffery 20 pct.
2nd place: Dan McElhatten 28 pct.
1st place: Seth Williams 29 pct.

* Side note: Somebody with Williams' campaign just texted and suggested that I should, "Call my friends call my neighbors. The best way to make Philadelphia safer is to vote for Seth."
Well, I'm not injecting myself into the endorsement game this time -- the candidate I'll be voting for already thanked me for my support over the weekend, and said he understands that I have friends on a few of the campaigns so am loathe to jump in, especially with my busted-up head.
But, if any of the campaigns want to have their message added to this very basic and simple post, by all means text or email.

UPDATE: Just heard from a person who supports someone not named Williams for D.A. Here's what she had to succinctly declare: "”Dan McCaffery is the only choice for DA.”

17 May 2009

Quote Food for Thought (plus a questionable ad campaign and flying the future)


A 2005 cost-benefit analysis of marijuana prohibition by Jeffrey Miron, a Harvard economist, calculated that ending marijuana prohibition would save $7.7 billion in direct state and federal law enforcement costs while generating more than $6 billion a year if it were taxed at the same rate as alcohol and tobacco. The drug czar’s office says that a gram of pure cocaine costs between $100 and $150; a gram of heroin almost $400; and a bulk gram of marijuana between $15 and $20. Those transactions are now occurring off the books of business and government alike.

* Should the point of Nick Gillespie's NYT column come true -- legalizing vices to cull mo' taxes -- the inside-back-page-EW ad from a Philly agency marketing, as best my drug-free mind could discern, Pennsylvania to outsiders might actually be entertaining or, um, effective. Then again, I could only bear 10 seconds of one video.
But hey, they're trying to bring gossip-minded house-fraus to our fine commonwealth. They spend money too, right?
Oh, they aren't spending these days? Damn.
** FYI: I'm totally digging my newest subscription, Popular Science. Where else can you read about:
-- making the White House more-green-efficient,
-- the super-next-level N+3-generation airplane (and what we'll be flying on in 2050),
-- how England's greenifying their double-decker buses pre-2012-Olympics,
-- robot bartenders!!!, and
-- how Chinese hackers will render websites useless at just about the same time as newspapers get put out of business, rendering us useless, newsless and helpless. (Way to go, aggregators!)

Obama at ND

I'll always be Irish. And, though I was raised Catholic, that part of me has ebbed over the years. Since those force me into being a fan of the Fightin' Irish, the whole Obama/Notre Dame thing, yeah, I paid attention to that, criticizing the pack of mutts who smacked him around for being anti-abortion. Well, today was the Sunday he spoke. Here's some of what he said:
"As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate?" he asked. "How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?"

Since neither knee-jerk krazy conservatives nor knee-jerk krazy liberals could ever answer that, the abortion brawl will remain a rabid cockfight till the end of time. How he was able to overcome both of their idiocies, I'll never know. But thank christ he did. At least someone in power is the voice of the sane.

Weekend Reading Roundup: A Few of My Favorite Things Edition


I think the journalistic gods collaborated and said:
"Hey, remember that dude Hickey, the one that got smacked by a car?"
"Absolutely."
"Well don't you think the least we can do is, on one Sunday, package stories that coincide with what he likes, like, a lot?"
"How about we start with the Cubs and Phillies game that ended 23-22 in '79, then get into a little discussion of herb legalization and proceed into controversies both of the journalistic and gay/not-gay political/commie natures?"
"Then, let's back up his belief that El Jefe of the United States is one of the great leaders of our time (despite the naysayers and the rare flip-flops) and close off with a Michael Jackson Guinness World Record."

"Hold up, we can't forget throwing in something serious, like progress towards healthcare for all at the insurance-companies' expense."
"Oh, absolutely right. But you can't forget that you need to give him a preview of next season's Hills replacement for L.C. and a peek inside the tempest that's home to Jon and Kate."
"Brilliant."
"No, you're brilliant."
"I insist on telling people that you are the brilliant god in the skies."
"Fine, but you're a close second."
"Fair enough."
"Now, let's watch a couple hundred college kids do the Thriller dance."
"Cool."

"It should have been a TV show. Kade, out!"

When you’re hot, you’re just hot. There is so much to life that most people don’t get to enjoy, and it’s amazing that I look at what I get to live and see, and things are awesome. I thought about this while hanging out at the hottest club in NYC last night, The Griffin, where I had a table in the middle of the lounge, surrounded my more 9’s and 10’s then I have seen in one room in a long time. I looked around the room at 2AM, and it seemed like we were living in a “Rap Video” with only beautiful people, and everybody was there to party and have a great time.


Is it just me, or does he look totally cokedehydrated?

Lost: Fan Fact (without any finale spoilers)

So, I put Old School on when I woke up this near-noon. You know that scene where Mitch finds out that his previous night's paramour is his boss Goldberg's high-school daughter (plus, Jack Bauer's daughter)? Yeah, well, that mustachioed suspender-sporting dude's John Locke. Check it:

And Blue, do you trust that I do not want to see you die here tonight?
Yes sir.
Blue, you're my boy!

15 May 2009

Everything that's wrong with the world, rolled up into one CNN segment

Quote of the Century


"I have always been a social institution in Philly, and would always get taken care of in clubs and restaurants with service, reservations, and drinks, but now I am getting to a point where I am being treated like a star when I go out or want services. Celebrities rarely pay for anything, because businesses just want the publicity of them coming or using them so they will give them stuff for free or pay them for showing up. I am constantly being contacted about endorsements and celebrity appearances, but so far I have been extremely picky about moving forward because I am spending all of my time focusing on “The Journey”, and becoming a master of the acting craft," A. Kade, 15 May 09

The Lone Hickey Endorsement

Tuesday's Primary Day in the 215. District Attorney's race. Judges.
Compared to other Election Days, it's kind of the equivalent of Police Academy: Mission to Moscow ("Kicking buttski. Making you laughski. The Academy is backski!") Translation: It's nyet the biggest vote draw, but since there's gonna be a new DA, it's as important as a Michael "Sgt. Larvelle Jones" Winslow jawn ... or anything Tackleberry related.
That said, I'm loathe to say who I'm voting for for D.A. since I got friends on a few of the five campaigns. (Besides, I already told the candidate he had my vote personally.) But that doesn't stop me from wading into the judge races. And one candidate stands over and above all the rest, even those I don't know a single thing about him. His name:
Vigilante, Ted Vigilante.
Why, you ask, am I wholeheartedly behind Vigilante, Ted Vigilante's candidacy without knowing a thing about him?
Well, I answer, his name is Vigilante. That, and the fact that his motto is "Justice is Coming!" 'Nuf said.

Dear Fans of the New York Mutts...

Hey, it's Brian again. What's new? That's great. Hope all's well with your fam.
The point of this letter? Glad you asked. I just wanted to remind you that when your coke-riddled team last did this...

... that evil cretin Reagan was in office. The more things change (my guy in office, yours probably tending to charred toes), the more things don't stay the same, huh?
XOXO,
Hickey
P.S. How you cough up the division this year? I hope something spectacular's in store.

The End is Nigh

From the AP:
HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A Pennsylvania woman convicted of killing and dismembering a tourist couple in a Maryland resort town claims her husband suggested eating one of the victims but she refused, according to a court document filed yesterday.
The reference appears in a judge's order denying a new trial for Erika E. Sifrit, 31, of Hollidaysburg, Pa., dubbed "Little Miss Scrapbook" by a prosecutor who said she kept souvenirs of her crimes.

14 May 2009

Five Interesting Nuggets from this month's Esquire


5. What has Christopher Walken learned? Well, a lot, but he had this to say about the eggplant scene ...
Me and Dennis [Hopper], when we were doing that scene in True Romance, it was hilarious. It really was — including shooting him. All that laughing was real. He was killing me. And all the guys around us — that was a very cracking-up day.

4. What movie sounds deeper than an ocean trench? The Road.
You should see it for the simplest of reasons: Because it is a good story. Not because it may be important. Not because it is unforgettable, unyielding. Not because it horrifies. Not because the score is creepily spiritual. Not because it is littered with small lines of dialogue you will remember later. Not because it contains warnings against our own demise. All of that is so. Don't see it just because you loved the book. The movie stands alone. Go see it because it's two small people set against the ugly backdrop of the world undone. A story without guarantees. In every moment — even the last one — you'll want to know what happens next, even if you can hardly stand to look. Because The Road is a story about the persistence of love between a father and a son, and in that way it's more like a remake of The Godfather than some echo of I Am Legend.
Only this one is different: You won't want to see this one twice.

3. What movies sounds funnier than hanging with Mike Tyson in Vegas? The Hangover. Which could make Zach Galifianakis as college-household name.
ESQ: I can see how you wouldn't want to be the guy helping a baby masturbate.
ZG: Ed Helms was concerned it was illegal, so [director] Todd [Phillips] had to ask the parents for permission. I've told people about that scene, and they're horrified. But they understand.

2. The magazine used a Red One video camera for the cover and inside shots of Megan Fox. Like, the ones of her getting out of bed, rolling around on a lounge chair, lighting a BBQ.
1. That last link? There's a 3:11 minute video of Megan Fox in bed on there.

My Bloggy Wogg (Vol. VII)

"03/04/05
Still here. Intense day. Went to Philadelphia art museum where the potency of my sexual appetite came crashing back into my life," - R. Brand, My Booky Wook, p. 388


Side Note: I quite enjoyed Russell's Twitter updates (he's RustyRockets) after he discovered a bird in his room on Mother's Day.
The sparrow in my bedroom is acting suspicious.I'm tweeting in the nude, he's tweeting in his sexy feather jacket- a Sergio Leone stand off.
2:07 PM May 10th from web
Bird currently motionless. Me nude. Becoming aroused by his cocksure indifference. I think he fancies me. What shall I do?
2:08 PM May 10th from web
@PENLDN I cannot kill him. I's against my principles. AND I'M IN LOVE WITH HIM!!!!!!
2:09 PM May 10th from web in reply to PENLDN
I have released him. He got caught in the bathroom amidst Venetian blinds. His anus pulsed. I radiated love, then to the balcony and FREEDOM
2:22 PM May 10th from web

13 May 2009

Untitled


In acting, the words are the boat, but once you own the boat, you have to understand how to sail it. I excel in buying and getting the boat ready, but I wasn’t ready to sail it until Mike Lemon really broke me down and took me to “show” level. -- A. Kade, 8:44 a.m. 13 May 09

Today's Metro Column

Wrote a column for the Metro today about Harrisburg's unanimous push to ban welfare recipients from using state money to purchase beer or liquor at state stores. Obviously, I disagree.
I’m uneasy with my dollars going directly to the kitty for rip-roaring welfare-recipient champagne par-tays rather than diapers and baby food, but nothing bothers me more than when I think government is wasting its time, however good-hearted Reed’s intentions.
I’d be much happier if Harrisburg just focused on getting the estimated 2 million people off welfare and into family-sustaining jobs, instead of vilifying them.

A Letter from El Jefe

Obama must have liked my Housewives of New Jersey post, since he was quick to drop everything and write me, personally, a letter about health care. To wit:
Good afternoon,
You are receiving this email because you signed up at WhiteHouse.gov. My staff and I plan to use these messages as a way to directly communicate about important issues and opportunities, and today I have some encouraging updates about health care reform.
The Vice President and I just met with leaders from the House of Representatives and received their commitment to pass a comprehensive health care reform bill by July 31.
We also have an unprecedented commitment from health care industry leaders, many of whom opposed health reform in the past. Monday, I met with some of these health care stakeholders, and they pledged to do their part to reduce the health care spending growth rate, saving more than two trillion dollars over the next ten years -- around $2,500 for each American family. Then on Tuesday, leaders from some of America's top companies came to the White House to showcase innovative ways to reduce health care costs by improving the health of their workers.
Now the House and Senate are beginning a critical debate that will determine the health of our nation's economy and its families. This process should be transparent and inclusive and its product must drive down costs, assure quality and affordable health care for everyone, and guarantee all of us a choice of doctors and plans.
Reforming health care should also involve you. Think of other people who may want to stay up to date on health care reform and other national issues and tell them to join us here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/EmailUpdates
Health care reform can't come soon enough. We spend more on health care than any country, but families continue to struggle with skyrocketing premiums and nearly 46 million are without insurance entirely. It is a priority for the American people and a pillar of the new foundation we are seeking to build for our economy.
We'll continue to keep you posted about this and other important issues.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

P.S. If you'd like to get more in-depth information about health reform and how you can participate, be sure to visit http://www.HealthReform.gov.

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