Palm Beach Post columnist Jose Lambiet (photo) is so desperate to defend the indefensible that he is now basically telling his readers that what they saw they didn't see. In this case, Lambiet is claiming that his column wasn't political even though that is exactly what it was from playing the class resentment card against the parents of neurosurgeon Michael Lemole who treated Represenstative Gabrielle Giffords by revealing the value of their homes to snarking about how they contributed to Tea Party candidates.
Here is Lambiet now protesting that his politically charged column wasn't political:
Michael Lemole is a neurosurgeon who has been treating Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. However, that noble work wasn't enough to keep Palm Beach Post Page 2 Live columnist Jose Lambiet (photo) from dragging his parents through the mud for the "high crime" of supporting Tea Party candidates. Somehow Lambiet thinks it ironic that while the son has worked to save the life of Giffords, his parents are associated with a group that Lambiet absurdly claims provided "fertile ground" for the likes of Jared Loughner. Lambiet kicks off his odious column by snarking about how wealthy Lemole's parents appear to be:
Of all the utter hypocrisy currently being displayed by many of those on the left over the tragic Arizona shooting, it would be hard to exceed that of the notorious fraudster of the Democratic Underground best known to the outside world as the perpetrator of the 2006 Karl Rove indictment hoax.. William Rivers Pitt of TruthOut, with enormous chip on his shoulder, has climbed up on his DU soap box and self-righteously pointed his finger of blame directly at conservatives. Ironically, although Pitt blames conservatives for supposed political violence that led to the tragedy in Arizona, it is that same man recently chronicled here in NewsBusters for being caught in an act of plagiarism who himself has a history of posting violent fantasies on the Web. Just weeks prior to posting his "THE WRATH OF FOOLS: An Open Letter To the Far Right," Pitt posted these Hateful Days violent fantasies:
There is a great deal of hate in my heart today. . . . The hate is a free-flowing thing, expanding in all directions. . . . Sarah Palin. . . . George H. W. Bush. . . . makes me want to give up on this tepid reporting job and take up firebombing. . . . Yes, I hate, with depth and passion, and have much cause to do so.
Although your humble correspondent has crossed swords (nanny note: "crossed swords" is strictly a metaphor) with the senior editor of the The New Republic in the past, he highly recommends Jonathan Chait's latest article in The New Republic, "The Arizona Shooting Is Not A Product Of Right-Wing Rage," as required reading for those members of the mainstream media who have blamed the "right-wing" for the shootings of Congresswoman Gabrille Giffords and others in Arizona on Saturday.
Despite the fact that most of Chait's article displayed some refreshing mental clarity I do have some caveats about it because he does revert to slamming conservatives for supposed extremism on other matters. However, those problems with the article aside for the moment, let us first take a look at Chait correctly chastising those quick to blame "right-wingers" for the Arizona shootings:
Call it Coffee Party Redux. Before quickly fizzling out the Coffee Party received extreme media hype shorty after its birth last year and now its latter incarnation, No Labels is the recipient of the same kind of treatment in the mainstream media. The similarities don't stop there. Nice Deb at NewsRealBlog has listed theNo Labels Declaration and the Coffee Party Mission Statement side by side and as you can see they are virtually identical in their feel good vagueness:
Michael Moore, in his Christmas Message to his readers, cited a quote by William Rivers Pitt who is best known to the world as one of the perpetrators, along with Jason Leopold and Marc Ash of TruthOut, of the journalistic hoax that Karl Rove had been indicted on May 12, 2006. Here is Moore quoting Pitt who is quoting without attribution Douglas Adams in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy":
I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas (or a Merry Everything) and hope you are all well today.
Here's a good thought from the writer William Rivers Pitt:
"Before Santa and presents and shopping and all the attendant Christmas (stuff) got involved, this holiday was enshrined to commemorate a guy who got nailed to a tree for daring to tell people to be kind to one another. If you have two cloaks, He said, give one away. Remember those who have less than you, be charitable, be good, be merciful."
It's the season of good cheer and if you want a really good belly laugh then check out David Weigel's August prediction in Slate that the Democrats in the lame duck session of Congress would NOT attempt to ram through legislation in the final days as their term winds down. Here is Weigel proving he is something less than another Nostradamus with his August assertion that the conservative suspicion at the time that Congress would attempt such a maneuver was really nothing but silly political paranoia:
...The latest attack comes from Republicans who demand that Democrats promise not to 1) call a lame duck session after the election or 2) pass anything substantial if they do call it.
It appears that President Obama is about to approve the extension of the Bush tax cuts and this has sent liberals into a frenzy. How to explain it? Well, Frank Rich of the New York Times has a very creative explanation: a weak Barack Obama has been spiritually kidnapped by Republicans and is now suffering from Stockholm Syndrome which allows him to sympathize with his captors. Here is Rich explaining it in "All the President's Captors" at his entertaining best:
It seems that whenever you hear about a "rightwing" hate crime nowadays, it turns out the the perpetrator turns out to be a leftwinger...much to the disappointment of liberals who continue to maintain the fiction about a violent Tea Party movement. And the latest case of a violent "rightwinger" who turns out to really be a leftwinger comes from my own county of Broward here in South Florida. With my condolences to the left who have been "robbed" of yet another example of supposed Tea Party "hate crime," here is a report on the arrest of the suspect by Bob Norman of the Broward Palm Beach New Times:
The woman charged by the FBI with making a threat that led to the lockdown of more than 300 Broward County schools after hearing the words of right-wing talker Joyce Kaufman isn't a member of the Tea Party -- she's a member of the Green Party.
Eleanor Clint doesn't exactly say that President Barack Obama is completely clueless about politics but she comes pretty close to it in her latest Newsweek column. The lack of a basic ability to control the political agenda in Washington is a prospect that makes a committed liberal like Clift somewhat less than happy:
Obama’s storied political career took him from the relative obscurity of the Illinois State Legislature to the presidency in such a short time that he didn’t get much of a feel for the nitty-gritty politicking that consumes so much of today’s partisan bickering. He didn’t have the benefit of getting beaten badly at the state level, like Clinton was in Arkansas, and having to learn how to reinvent himself.
Would you seek advice on how to save your marriage from John Edwards? Or how about a teenage girl turning to Paris Hilton for suggestions on how to maintain her purity? If you think those ideas seem silly then take a look at what the recently suspended MSNBC Countdown host is claiming in a New York Times Q&A interview conducted by Deborah Solomon. Keith Olbermann is asserting that Vice President Joe Biden asked him for anger management advice. I kid you not. Here is the perpetually outraged Olbermann making his claim:
Is it fair to describe you as the first left winger to express anger as a television host? Fury used to be the province of right wingers, until that day in 2006 when you delivered a tirade against Donald Rumsfeld.
I once had a conversation with the man who is now the vice president when he was still in the Senate, who asked me for advice about how to turn anger into righteous inspiration.
Joe Biden took you to lunch to ask you for tips on getting angry?
He said, ‘‘I just come across like I’m angry and out of control, and you seem to focus it and make it look useful and expressive.’’
So just how good a speaker is the new senator-elect from Florida, Marco Rubio? Conservatives are rightly highly impressed with Rubio's oratory, especially his election night victory speech. However, even liberals are giving high marks to Rubio's speaking abilities. John McWhorter of The New Republic even commits liberal sacrilege by grudgingly admitting (after slamming the speeches of other conservatives) that Rubio is a better speaker than Obama. Of course, this also scares him as well:
Marco Rubio, in his victory speech, was the exception, and showed as he often has why he is the Tea Party’s real secret weapon. Starting out with gushy God talk and closing by stressing that he is a “son of exiles,” Rubio is – let’s face it – a better Obama in his way. His Christianity will always be clear to those who care, and his foreign forebears are ones who fled Communism. At first we were to suppose that Obama’s mongrelism made him “like America,” but the leftist Kenyan business is ripe for the Becks and D’Souzas among us to frame as alien, never mind that Indonesia is a Muslim country. Rubio’s foreignness is more cuddly, immune to Fox News-style demagoguery.
Plus Rubio is a natural talker. No stagy incantations of lines based on things other people said long ago; no giggling; no props; no wandering off topic. He can rub a noun and a verb together, with minimal attendance to notes. As a result, like Bill Clinton, he seems intelligent in a way that Paladino and O’Donnell do not, and approachably human and on the ground in a way that Paul, despite his active mind, cannot.
Instead of just promoting someone to the level of his incompetence, McClatchy Newspapers has actually promoted failed Miami Herald executive editor, Anders Gyllenhaal, beyond the level of his incompetence. Is your humble correspondent being a bit too harsh in his assessment of Anders Gyllenhaal's capabilities? Allow me to enter into the record the judgement in September of the people who actually worked for him at the Herald:
Last week, several Miami Herald editors and reporters wrote a letter to the paper's management asking it to stop focusing on delivering quick news and return to its roots in well-reported investigative journalism. We're not sure if this is the answer. But we are sure of one thing: the quality of the paper has suffered a lot under the leadership of executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal. Perhaps he understands the Internet and its role in new journalism, but he is clearly having a hard time putting a plan into action.
Indeed the letter circulated internally and signed by most of the paper's top news personnel is a clear sign of dysfunction. Why would such a group of bright people -- including a half dozen Pulitzer Prizer winners -- resort to assembling such a diatribe if the paper were working.
...Gyllenhaal worked in Miami back in the '80s, but he spent years away before returning several years ago. He doesn't get the pulse of this city. Moreover, he's aloof and not well liked in the newsroom. He is the wrong guy to run the paper at this time. So listen up McClatchy: It's time to dump Anders.
An oatmeal cookie to the first reporter who gets around to asking North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge (D) why he refused to answer a crucial ObamaCare question during his debate last Saturday with his Republican challenger, Renee Ellmers. The fact that he refused to answer was amazing. And the fact that the Raleigh News & Observer completely neglected to report the refusal in its story about the debate is even more amazing. Here is a transcript of Etheridge refusing to answer the ObamaCare question with the video clip below the fold:
Renee Ellmers: "Congressman, you said that something will have to give, well the people of district two are going to give, and give, and give, in order to keep this massive healthcare bill in place. Am I correct to assume, and I guess this is a question, you believe the government can handle one sixth (1/6) of the economy better than the free enterprise system? That Americans, North Carolinians can't make those choices and put those things in place better than the government?"
Moderator Kim Genardo: "Rebuttal, or shall we move on?
Somebody should send a message to the absolutely clueless AFP (Agence France-Presse) news agency: the Coffee Party today is about as signficant a political force as the Prohibition Party. However, in this AFP story by Edouard Guihaire the Coffee Party, which pretty much died almost at birth, is portrayed as a major political force on a par with the Tea Party. Perhaps Guihaire is new to America and has not woken up to the sad reality of the moribund Coffee Party which even our own liberal mainstream media has given up covering after an initial flurry of hype at the beginning of the year. So here is AFP laughably trying to convince its readers about the incredible political significance of the Whig... I mean Coffee...Party:
WOODBRIDGE, Virginia — A progressive infusion in US politics, the Coffee Party is brewing a strong counter-movement to the ultra-conservative Tea Party, just a week ahead of the US legislative elections.
Born in January in reaction to the bashing President Barack Obama's proposed health care reform was getting in Congress and the media, the Coffee Party first took shape on Facebook.
"It started on my personal Facebook page," said party founder Annabel Park, a small, soft spoken woman with a strong character.
So what was the reaction at the Huffington Post to the admission by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, who is now running for a U.S. Senate seat from that state, that he would now oppose ObamaCare despite his earlier support for that same legislation? Brutal scorn as can be seen in the very title of Huffington Post political writer Sam Stein's article, "Joe Manchin Does 180: I Would Have Voted Against Health Care Reform." Stein, as well as the comments from the Huffington Post readers, are now slamming Manchin for blatant political opportunism on this topic. It's not a pretty sight. First Sam Stein weighs in:
You're so angry and stupid that...you're GONNA EXPLODE!!!
That sums up the incredibly embarrassing childish critique of Rush Limbaugh by Norman Lear. Not one issue was mentioned. Ironically Lear slammed Limbaugh for being like an uncontrollable kid yet it was Lear himself who lowered himself to using slams that most folks haven't heard since sitting in a grade school cafeteria and hearing the children ragging on each other. Even for the Huffington Post, Lear's childishness is over the top. The only reason I can think of about why the editor gave his piece a pass is that Lear is a celebrity. And in case you think your humble correspondent has exaggerated about the content-free childishness of Lear's slams against Limbaugh, here is his entire brief schoolboyish mudsling:
Folks, I'm worried about Rush Limbaugh. Has anyone ever exploded, you know, burst apart, like if we humans had seams and they just burst open and guts and shit shot out in every direction?
Has that ever happened to anyone any of you have ever known even in the wildest of election seasons? 'Cause listening to Limbaugh in my car today, carrying on about Obama with less than 2 weeks to the midterms (and I'm someone who's heard him a lot and knows what a screamer he is) how he can carry on like the kid you knew up the block who could stand there and holler dumbness until his face got red as a radish --oh, My God, is that where "redneck" comes from?! -- and today, riding with my car windows down, I thought "This guy is gonna split a gut so bad I better put my car windows up even if I'm in LA and he's broadcasting from Florida.
What happens when a mainstream newspaper gets too cozy with local politicians? In the case of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel they often have to play catchup with the free alternative weekly, the Broward Palm Beach New Times, when it comes to exposing the foibles of those same politicians such as happened when the New Times' Bob Norman led the way with his stories about Broward School Board corruption to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. And once again Bob Norman is leading the way (although he sometimes goes off the deep end when discussing national politics) in his New Times Daily Pulp blog with a special series of articles exposing the amazing activities of Broward County Democrat Chairman, Mitch Ceasar, including allegations of corruption, vote tamperiing, and "wandering fingers." I'm sure you want to start off with the incredibly juicy details of the latter so check these claims in Norman's story made by Donna Greenburg, former executive director of the Broward Democrats:
"He's very predictable," Greenberg, who was married, says of her former boss. "He would walk over, shut the blinds in his office, and close the door. Then he would come over, say 'You look tense,' and massage my neck. It was so weird. I was freaking out. I was like, 'What do I do?'"
It only got worse the one time that party business caused her to have to go to Ceasar's house in Plantation. She was there to collect photographs that were to be posted on the Broward Democratic Executive Committee website.
"He totally came onto me and tried to get me in bed," she said.
Just how desperate is Democrat Congressman Alan Grayson to get re-elected now that even liberals such as Contessa Brewer have questioned both his credibility and ethics? So desperate that Grayson is now pleading for donations at the Democratic Undergound. And in keeping with his normal operating procedure, Grayson accompanied his donation plea with a flat out lie. Here is Grayson making his pitch to the DUers with his lie highlighted:
On Friday, the DC newspaper "Politico" reported that:
(a) "conservative outside groups" have now spent over $9 million "slamming vulnerable House Democrats," and
(b) the total against me will reach "at least $1.7 million by the end of next week."
Think about that. I am only one member of the U.S. House of Representatives, out of 435. I represent one-quarter of one percent of America. And yet roughly TWENTY PERCENT of spending in the entire country by these shadowy right-wing groups has been spent to defeat . . .
How embarrassing is it when a senatorial candidate sits down with your own editorial board and issues a statement so absurdly mendacious that the video clip of the "Pinocchio moment" becomes a big hit in the blogosphere yet your own story about the interview completely misses it? Such was the case with the Palm Beach Post. Charlie Crist sat down for an hour long interview with its editorial board and declared that he would still have left the Republican party even if polls had shown that he was running 20 points ahead of Marco Rubio in the race for the U.S. Senate seat from Florida. Here is a transcript of that memorable magic moment:
Q: But if you had been 20 points up in the polls over Mr. Rubio would you have left the party to run as .an independent?
A: Absolutely. Yes. I absolutely would have. Because I think it's that important. Sure. I would have...
Remember all the media hoopla earlier this year surrounding the birth of the liberal alternative to the Tea Party called the Coffee Party which was founded by former Obama political operative, Annabel Park? Well, despite all the promotion of the Coffee Party by the MSM, it has pretty much fizzled out. The extent of its slide into complete insignificance can be measured by the fact that its national convention in Louisville, KY this past weekend registered almost no media coverage. Perhaps even the MSM was embarrassed by the Coffee Party's current obscurity to the extent that its lasting legacy might well be the performance at their convention of the lamest rap song in history.
What little coverage the supposedly 350 people attending the Coffee Party convention received seems to have been pretty much limited to local media such as the Louisville Courier whose article could do little to hide the navel-gazing aspects of this "movement" moving nowhere:
The Coffee Party USA — which was founded on Facebook and is holding its first national convention in Louisville this weekend — bills itself as a more thoughtful and reasoned alternative to the tea party.
Saturday night the organization held a panel discussion, part of its three-day “Restoring American Democracy” convention, that included bloggers, college professors and communications strategists talking about what they can do to make politics more inclusive. They also discussed how to draw more disenfranchised voters back into the democratic process.
Remember when liberals brushed aside any criticism of candidate Barack Obama being unqualified to become president because of his lack of executive experience? Well, that was then and this is now because Susan Estrich has suddenly developed "concern" over the qualifications of the Tea Party backed Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York, Carl Paladino. A skeptic might rightly believe this recent Estrich infatuation with qualifications could be inspired by the fact that Paladino is closing the gap in the polls with the Democrat candidate, Andrew Cuomo.
Here is Estrich with her newly developed qualifications concern:
The Republican nominee for governor of New York doesn't spend a lot of time talking about himself, which is both good and bad. It's good because, in truth, his surprise victory over the "establishment" favorite (and Conservative Party candidate) Rick Lazio had very little to do with his qualifications and agenda, and everything to do with his tea party-infused attacks on Albany, government and the powers that are. It's bad, of course, for precisely the same reason.
Is Carl Paladino actually qualified to be governor of New York?
The gubernatorial campaign of Andrew Cuomo has such a poor credibility problem that even the local New York City CBS affiliate is asking: "Cuomo Caught Lying About Voting for Bloomberg?" And what caused such an aspersion to be cast upon Cuomo's veracity? Check out this video in which Cuomo asserted that he voted for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, as the CBS affiliate pointed out, it didn't happen:
But for all his actions as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, Cuomo did have a little problem with telling the truth about his election box support for Mayor Bloomberg.
“Have I voted for the mayor? Yes,” Cuomo said.
Actually, he didn’t. The Cuomo campaign had to issue a clarification, saying he was only registered to vote in New York City in 2005 when he endorsed Democrat Fernando Ferrer.
Better enjoy the Lion King while you can. Flipper could also be gone soon. If a certain nutty professor has his way, all lions, dolphins, as well as all other carnivorous animals on this planet would be selected for controlled extinction for the "high crime" of eating meat and causing suffering in other animals. I kid you not.
In a long, rambling, seemingly endless opinion piece in the New York Times that comes off like a bizarre mixture of Dr. Strangelove and Professor Irwin Corey, Rutgers philosophy professor Jeff McMahan makes the case for playing God in the animal kingdom because of his assertion that God was flawed for allowing animal suffering in the wild:
Viewed from a distance, the natural world often presents a vista of sublime, majestic placidity. Yet beneath the foliage and hidden from the distant eye, a vast, unceasing slaughter rages. Wherever there is animal life, predators are stalking, chasing, capturing, killing, and devouring their prey. Agonized suffering and violent death are ubiquitous and continuous...
...Suppose that we could arrange the gradual extinction of carnivorous species, replacing them with new herbivorous ones. Or suppose that we could intervene genetically, so that currently carnivorous species would gradually evolve into herbivorous ones, thereby fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy. If we could bring about the end of predation by one or the other of these means at little cost to ourselves, ought we to do it?
Joliet, Illinois must be a community absolutely bursting with newsworthy events. Why? Because the Herald-News newspaper in that city was (conveniently) unable to cover a local news story that has become a sizzling hot topic in the blogosphere. All one has to do is enter the name of the Illinois 11th Congressional District Congresswoman, Debbie Halvorson, into Google Blog Search and you will get results chock full of a shocking incident a few days ago, including this video. The Frugal Café Blog Zone, which is but one of many sites covering this, explains:
Would MSNBC or CNN have featured this shocking story if the vile protesters at the Nazi-themed protest were CONSERVATIVES or REPUBLICANS or if left-wing extremists had dressed up like Nazis and crashed a tea party posing as conservatives or Republicans? Why do you even ask? Of course they would.
When interviewed in the video below, these anti-conservative protesters in Joliet, outside Chicago — proudly carrying Nazi-esque signs slamming GOP congressional opponent Adam Kinzinger and other well-known conservatives, like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin — denied several times being there in support of, or affiliated with, Democrat Rep. Debbie Halvorson. Congresswoman Halvorson is running against Kinzinger in the November election.
...Much later, these bogus grassroots protesters were videotaped returning to the congresswoman’s campaign office in the dark of night. Obviously, they’re part of the liberal congresswoman’s camp. Unless Halvorson had NO IDEA that these left-wing extremist folks had her campaign office keys and gained access to her office. They look pretty darned cozy in there in the video with Julie Merz, Halvorson’s campaign manager.
Take a quick break from speculating about the outcome of the elections this November. There is a new topic that is causing quite a bit of speculation: just what did Kiran Chetry of CNN's American Morning do last Wednesday that caused co-host John Roberts to pause in the middle of introducing guest David Axelrod and snap at her in a fit of extreme irritability? Almost as funny watching it on TV was the fact that the moment was officially recorded in CNN's transcripts:
DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you for having me.
ROBERTS: Let me ask you first of all, David, before we get into the -- excuse me. You would mind not doing that while I'm talking? Thank you. I appreciate that. If you don't mind.
David if, I could just Terry Jones and this Quran burning that is planned for September 11th, what does the president think about that? Does the president -- is he as concerned about it as other members of his administration are?
Can watching too much MSNBC affect a person to the extent that he acts in a completely irrational manner? According to a Tampa Tribune story, a Florida man convicted of threatening death upon a congresswoman for her opposition to ObamaCare believes the answer would be yes:
TAMPA - A Spring Hill man who threatened U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite during the health care debate will spend more than two years in federal prison.
Eric Lawrence Pidrman, 66, claims he was in an alcoholic blackout when he telephoned Brown-Waite's office about 6:30 a.m. on March 25 and left a message saying he had 27 people who would make sure she "doesn't live to see her next term."
"I'm terribly sorry that it ever happened," Pidrman said this morning before he was sentenced. At the time of the morning he made the call, he said, "I very often watch the recycled news shows on MSNBC."
There is a conservative student group at our sacred campus club rush. Remove them immediately!
Such was the attitude of Palm Beach State College administrator Olivia Ford-Morris at the sight of a Young Americans for Freedom table. You can see and hear the extreme urgency in the attitude and voice of Ms Ford-Morris accompanied by campus security guards in this video as she demands the students at the YAF table "Pull it up!" Although Ford-Morris claimed she didn't remember receiving either an e-mail or a phone call from YAF about getting a table for club rush, evidence is now contradicting that claim (below the fold).
So this is obviously a great story of campus censorship that the Palm Beach Post would love to cover since it happened locally? Wrong. The only comment from the Palm Beach Post on this incident is the sound of crickets chirping. To get information on what happened at Palm Beach State College you would need to check sites on the blogosphere such as Orlando Political Press:
(Lake Worth, FL) On Tuesday September 7, 2010 at around 11:00am one Palm Beach State College (PBSC) student and two Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) members, state chairman Daniel P. Diaz and state vice chairman Eddie Shaffer, were shut down and had campus police called on them after tabling and recruiting during club rush at the College. The PBSC student, Christina Beattie, had received prior permission from college administrator Olivia Ford-Morris to promote her organization on campus via telephone and email communication.
As your humble correspondent has learned, writing humor can be very dangerous since it can easily backfire. Such was the case with a story written by the former Mr. Sharon Stone aka Phil Bronstein, Editor-at-Large of the San Francisco Chronicle. Just from the very title of his piece, "Should Obama have smoked crack?" you just know Bronstein was going to run into trouble. Some readers didn't know he was trying to be funny and were outraged. Other readers realized he was attempting to write humor but felt it was really lame. So here is Bronstein's backfiring humor attempt:
...His druggie past is not helping him shape the overarching grit of his public character nearly as much as it could be. Weed and cocaine? Who's going to be impressed with that, when his hugely successful contemporaries like Oprah Winfrey have the truly dark and evil specter of crack in their background?
...He needed some rock in that pipe of his youth. If he'd had a crack addiction then instead of an effete taste for powdered cocaine and pot, people might be a little more respectful of him now. It would have been an even tougher journey to the top. The big dog bite needs teeth sharpened by real adversity.