Sarah who?

August 29, 2008

Wow! That’s what all the politcal pundits were saying as Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

The choice certainly comes with a lot of risk. While Palin gives him a running mate who helps  his maverick image and may appeal to “hockey moms” and other women, her selection also counters Barack Obama’s aura of new-generation change.

But McCain may have undercut his best attack on the Democrat. If Obama lack the experience to be President of the United States, what does that say about Palin. She is younger and less experienced than the first-term Illinois senator. A governor for just 20 months, she was two-term mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town of 6,500 where the biggest issue is controlling growth and the biggest civic worry is whether there will be enough snow for the Iditarod dog-mushing race.

“On his 72nd birthday, is this really the one-heartbeat-away he wants to put in the White House?” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the No. 3 Democrat in the House. “What does this say about his judgment?”

It’s apparent that McCain felt he needed to draw more women voters. Palin’s pick has also drawn praise from evangelicals and social conservatives as she’s a staunch opponent of abortion.

Palin has a record of bipartisan reform and has often bucked the Republican Party leadership in Alaska. But she’s also been accused of abusing her power in firing a public safety commissioner. Some claim Palin was mad at the commissioner for not firing an Alaska state trooper who went through a messy divorce with her sister.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Interestingly enough, McCain and Palin will be appearing together in Washington, Pa., Saturday. We’ll have full coverage of the event in Sunday’s Herald-Standard and heraldstandard.com.

It should be quite a week coming up with the Republican convention. I think McCain may have overeached in trying to shake things up, but more importantly what do you think of McCain’s selection.


Joe Biden?

August 23, 2008

So, Barack Obama has chosen one of the ultimate Washington insiders in Joe Biden as his running. He’s been in the U.S. Senate for the past 36 years, representing the state of Delaware. While he brings a wealth of foreign policy experience to the ticket, it will be interesting to see if he actually helps Obama in his quest for the White House. The big question is how will his selection go over with Hillary Clinton’s supporters. I think Hillary would have helped Obama a lot more than Biden, but we’ll have to see what happens. It should be an interesting Democratic Party convention this week with Hillary standing in the background, threatening to overhwelm Obama with her presence. But more than what I think, what do you think about Biden’s selection and how it will play out on the campaign trail this fall?


SpinIt does it!

August 19, 2008

It always irks me when I hear people say there’s nothing to do around here. All people have to do is look around

, and you’ll see there are plenty of things happening. Take Sunday’s SpinIt Community Day outside the Uniontown Mall. The weather was great and the music was awesome to say nothing of the numerous food booths with all sorts of delicious treats. What more could anyone possibly ask for? There was even a dunking booth with Uniontown businessman Gary Gearing. Congratulations to John Voytek, director of interactive media for the Herald-Standard, and his steller crew for their hard work. Ryan Geary, interactive media sales representative, was terrific both as chairman of the event and master of ceremonies. Kudos also to Karen Tweardy, who does so much for the Herald-Standard and the community in general. Joanne Hunt, Lori Goodwin, Mark Klink Shawn King, Mary Hunchuck and Edie Hoover all stepped up to the plate and pitched in to make the concert happen. All their hard work paid off as the event drew raves from everyone in attendance. I didn’t hear Stereotype myself, but everyone couldn’t stop talking about how good they were. I did catch Brynn Marie, and she was super. The girl from Carmichaels certainly has a bright future. The Chris Higbee Project had everyone jumping with their own unique brand of country music. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s amazing how much local musical talent we have in this area. It was all there for everyone to see Sunday. And the best thing was that all the proceeds benefitted the Salvation Army’s Sparkle campaign, which helps brighten Christmas holidays for many low-income folks in the area. Again congratulations to all of those who were involved in any way. Everyone did a super job. It truly was a great event for Fayette County. It’s wonderful to see things like this happening right here in our backyard. 


Boring Olympics?

August 13, 2008

Not sure about you, but the Olympics seems to have lost some of its magic for yours truly. I remember back in the 60s and 70s, when the Olympics were really special. Everyone watched them, and everyone talked about them. Now, there just doesn’t seem to be the overall interest in them. Maybe it’s because sports are on TV more in general now they were back then.  Or maybe it’s because back then, we were in stiff competition with the USSR and their allies. Remember those infamous East German women swimmers who everyone thought were men? Every event back then had meaning and significance. Not that these Olympics haven’t had their moments. How can you not be amazed by the feats of Michael Phelps? And it was truely heartbreaking watching the U.S. women’s gymnastic team losing out to the Chinese team for the gold medal. Although you really had to wonder about the ages of those Chinese girls. Oh well, there’s still a lot of events to be held and maybe the interest will pick up as the games go on. What do you think of the Olympics so far?


DeWeese in trouble?

August 5, 2008

Monday was not a good day for House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Waynesburg. State Rep. Josh Shapiro, a two-term Democrat from Montgomery County, outside Philadelphia, called for DeWeese to step down as the House majority leader in light of the “bonusgate” scandal. While there have been others who have called for DeWeese to step down , they were all bitter enemies of DeWeese. When several Democrats deserted DeWeese in his bid to become speaker of the House in January, 2007 Shapiro engineered a deal where Republican Dennis O’Brien was made speaker, with DeWeese becoming House majority leader. Otherwise, state Rep. John Perzel, one of DeWeese’s most bitter rivals, would have been speaker of the House. In return, DeWeese appointed Shapiro as co-chairman of the House Speaker’s Reform Committee. So, Shapiro’s comments had to come as a bitter pill for DeWeese. Shapiro said disturbing grand jury presentments demand monumental change that DeWeese is incapable of making to a system he enabled. DeWeese has contended that the grand jury reports vindicated him, and said he could not have known about the alleged schemes because of the elaborate secrecy that was involved. Two of the people charged included his former chief of staff and a trusted former lieutenant. So, the question now is will others follow Shapiro’s lead or stay the course for DeWeese? And how will that affect DeWeese’s fall re-election campaign as he battles Republican challenger Greg Hopkins a a second time? What you do think will happen?


Pirates sink to a new low

August 1, 2008

Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.

Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.Cheap.

That pretty much sums up the Pirates trade of Jason Bay yesterday for four prospects. It’s possible, although highly unlikely, that all four players will some day become stars but yesterday’s trade is another in a long line of signals that the Pirates simply want to do things on the cheap.  They had the opportunity by signing Bay to a contract to have a real contender as early as next year. But now, they’ve guaranteed that they won’t be contenders for the next millenium. What about Nate McClouth and Ryan Doumit.? They’ll be entering free agency in the next couple of years. Think they’ll sign them? No, the dye is cast. We’re stuck with watching young players who are bound to have high and lows. It’s inevitable. And if by some chance, they get good, then we’ll have to trade them for more prospects. The Nutting family needs to be called on the carpet. People should stop going to games unless they actually start spening money. That’s the only solution. There’s no other alternative.  I hope attendance drops dramatically next year. But the Nutting family knows they will still draw some fans with their fireworks and bobblehead so they will probably still be able to make millions of dollars. And that’s all they care about. As long as the Nutting family owns the Pirates , we’ll never have a winner. It’s as simple as that. And they’ll continue to peddle these prospects as hope for the future. The shame of it is that some fans and members of the media continue to drink the Kool-Aid. They continue to be lured by the promise of hope for a better future when in reality there is none.  You really can’t blame the fans for this blind faith. But the media should know better. Either they don’t really follow baseball and the Pirates that closely to know what’s going on, they just really don’t want to admit that things are as bad as they are, or they’re just trying to curry favor with the Pirates.

Consider what Paul Myers wrote in the Post-Gazette today.

For Jason Bay yesterday, the Pirates netted:

 

 

 

 

A closer-type relief pitcher.

 

A left-handed bat that should play well at PNC Park.

 

A “Jason Kendall-type” third baseman.

 

And a young starting pitcher, who, in the long run, could turn out to be the most intriguing performer of the four.

What he should have wrote is the following

_ A middle reliever with control issues. He was 3-5 with a 6.15 ERA in 74 appearances with the Red Sox since ’05.

_ A left-handed hitter who hit two home runs with 12 RBIs in 49 games with Boston. One scout said he he has the potential to hit 15 homers.

_ A third baseman who is hittting 203 this year while losing his job to a rookie. Over two years in MLB, he’s batted 217 in 62 games with 3 homers and 17 RBIs.

_ A low-Class A pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery with a 2-4 record.

Come on Paul Meyers. Are you working for the Pirates or the P-G? One of the Pirates PR people couldn’t have spun things any better. None of these guys are top-flight prospects. Thats’ the truth. They may become decent players but that’s about it. And we know it won’t happen for all four of them. But one thing is guaranteed about them. If any of them become good, the Pirates will trade them for more prospects. Jason Bay came here as a prospect and leaves as a really good major league player. And all we got in return was more prospects, none of whom will ever be as good as Jason Bay. That tells you all you need to know about the Pirates.