Archive for the Politics Category

American Pride , Revenge and Baseball!!

Posted in Baseball, ESPN, History, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, NY Times, NYC, Politics, YouTube Classics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2011 by mattyfresh697400

Long Live The World Trade

Where were you at 10:30pm on Sunday May 1, 2011??

I suspect that as time marches on most people will remember where they were when they heard the incredible news that the worlds most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden was dead!

Have Fun In Hell

Now without question you can ask anyone and I mean literally anyone where they were the morning of Tuesday September 11th 2001 and each person knows exactly where they were and what they were doing, and if you are talking to New Yorkers as I so often have, every person has a unique and fascinating story about that morning and the hours that followed. I myself was living on Christopher Street, barely a mile away from the World Trade Center. I unfortunately had a front row seat to the devastation as I watched both Towers fall with my very own eyes from the roof of my building. I along with 15 very scared neighbors watched for hours as the black smoke billowed against the crystal blue sky and eventually  the black smoke got thicker and thicker and then the towers fell.


One of my first thoughts that morning as I made my way up to the roof was ” I wonder if the Yankee game will be cancelled tonight” of course I had zero indication this was a terrorist attack and no sense whatsoever at the magnitude of what I was witnessing, but something told me it was serious but really I was clueless , as we all were at first.

Well not only was the Yankee game not going to be played that night but in truth the entire world stopped that day and we were changed as a country forever!!

The days and weeks that followed were incredibly challenging for all Americans but for New Yorkers it was a whole other level. Within hours of the towers falling pictures of missing loved ones covered light posts and street signs, make shift memorials were everywhere, candle light vigils were a common occurrence for weeks. I recall the incredible somber mood during the Jewish High Holidays where at my synagogue there was not a dry eye in the house.

But America and our citizens are defined by their courage and resilience in the face of unfathomable challenges, and in the days that followed the attacks there was a patriotic unity that I had certainly never seen or felt in my lifetime and nothing the country had experienced since perhaps when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.


So of course on the night of September 11th there was no Yankee game and in fact there were no Major League  Baseball games whatsoever for 8 days. What did Baseball really mean at a time of such unparalleled tragedy?

But 8 days later baseball did return and the national anthem that is played at the start of every game took on a new and profound meaning.  On September 25th Baseball finally returned to New York and the Police Officers that patrol the stadium were finally being treated as the heroes they were, American flags were visible everywhere at the Stadium.

God Bless America

And as the month of September marched on and the baseball season slowly crept towards the post season, The defending World Series Champion New York Yankees were giving their fans and more importantly their wounded city, something to cheer about. If only for a few hours every night, the Yankees gave hope and distraction to 8 million grieving neighbors. And as the Yankees always do, they just kept winning and winning and before anyone knew it, it was mid October and the Yankees were on their way to the World Series, playing not just for their fans but for all New Yorkers (yes even you Met fans out there)

Now New York and the Yankees in particular often take plenty of flack from every other city out there (most likely because we are bigger and better) but that is a whole other post entirely. But for 10 days at the end of October and the start of November, the Yankees were truly Americas team!

The first two games of the 2001 World Series were in Arizona, (Arizona won both) so Game three was the first in New York and once again the eyes of the entire world were on New York. I have an uncanny ability to remember baseball games but the real historic highlight of this game came before the first batter even stepped in the box.  On this night, The President of the United States would be throwing out the first pitch, this moment encapsulated all the things that make this country what it is in one symbolic moment; Strength, Pride, Resilience and Hope. George W. Bush might have a had a very tumultuous presidency but in October of 2001 , he was our leader and the entire country was unified in our support of him, nowhere was that more evident than in Yankee Stadium on that legendary evening.


As the President marched out to the mound , chest out, shoulders back, head held high ,  55,000 screaming fans began to chant “USA, USA, USA” !!! I have never and will never see or feel anything like that again, but through our National Pastime, Baseball… it was clear that America can never be held down!

The next three nights the Yankee magic continued, Derek Jeter became Mr. November and Scott Brosius and Tino Martinez achieved the impossible (2 run HRs with two outs down by 2 on back to back nights) Now the Yankees might not have won the 2001 World Series but they did captivate a nation and helped lift up a city that desperately needed some Yankee Magic and the boys certainly delivered.


Fast Forward almost 10 years to this past Sunday night, when I saw the breaking news alert on CNN I could not believe my eyes! We actually got him! President Barack Obama authorized what seems to be one of the riskiest covert missions in our countries history and Osama Bin Laden was finally dead, pierced by the bullet of a brave American soldier. Just as it should be . America Never forgets!!

Monday morning I ran out to buy the paper because I wanted to save what in many ways is the bookend to the greatest tragedy in American History. The evil face of Osama Bin Laden covered the front page with the bold text reading : “WE GOT HIM”

I turned the paper over and was surprised that there was not another image of Bin Laden where the sports section would normally be, but instead of Osama there was an image from the Mets vs. Phillies game from Sunday night. As it turns out the Mets and Phillies were tied at 1-1 and the game went into extra innings and late into Sunday night and as thes rest of the country was glued to their TV sets trying to digest the incredible news, the fans at the Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philly were getting text message and facebook updates from friends and family. And then just like in 2001 the entire stadium erupted in chants of “USA, USA, USA”

Once again Baseball somehow has weaved itself into the fabric of American History!!

Justice

and on this night there were no Philly Fans and there were no Mets Fans…There were just Americans.

Justice is Served!!!

A Rolling Stone in Afghanistan!!

Posted in History, NY Times, Politics with tags , , , , on June 22, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

Just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse for our President , it does.. and in spectacularly embarrassing fashion no less. Unless you have been living under a rock or simply choose to ignore the news and current events , I am sure you have heard that our top military leader in the Afghanistan War, General Stanley McChrystal gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine where he basically throws the entire administration including President Obama and particularly Vice President Biden under the proverbial… “BUS”

Just to give everyone a sense of the depth of the generals comments (and some subordinates of his) the article is entitled “The Runaway General” The general goes so far as to call those in the White House “Wimps” and literally on the record disses Biden when the General receives an email from the VP in the presence of the journalist that wrote the piece.

Now I think of this as not only the ultimate slap in the face to the White House and the President, but what kind of message is this General sending to the troops his is commanding and who at the end of the day are the ones who are making the real life and death sacrifices on the battlefield. I will go a step further and say what message does this send to the rest of the world, that the leaders in our military are mocking our commander-in-chief.

But the real  question I have is, how on earth does this dipshit have the time to do an interview for ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE while he is commanding 100,000 US Troops in a War Zone, does he really have that much time on his hands? Is the war going that well, that he has time to give interviews to all sorts of periodicals? I mean if this was Newsweek or even the Wall Street Journal this would still be a terrible and unacceptable turn of events, but Rolling Stone Magazine???

When is the General Stanley McChrystal XXL Cover story dropping? And better yet exactly what important national leader is on the cover of the Rolling Stone issue that the article appears in?? ….Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, on no I am sorry its gotta be Drake or Eminem.

Anyway my point on this rant is that this guy HAS TO GO!!

If Obama does not have the stones to dismiss this fool then my already diminishing confidence in our President is all but lost and that is just a sad state of affairs , but then again so is the general state of our nation. ….SAD!

Step up Mr. President!!

Who in the hell is ALVIN GREENE?

Posted in History, Politics with tags , , , on June 14, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

VOTE GREENE!

It is quite possible that American politics has reached a new low , and given the state of our political system and the general mess that is America in 2010, this is no easy achievement.

Enter Mr. Alvin Greene, who is Alvin Greene you ask?

Well me , you and the entire Democratic party is asking the very same question and guess what Mr. Greene somehow is the Democratic Parties nominee for Senate in the state of South Carolina. Now South Carolina politics is notorious for scandal and bottom of the barrel tactics etc, but this candidacy might take the cake.

Alvin Greene is a 32 year old un-employed veteran with ZERO political experience, how he defeated former state legislator Vic Rawl in the primary last week with 60% of the vote is almost as big a mystery as how this unemployed gentleman came up with the $10,000.oo fee a candidate is required to pay the state to get listed on the ballot.

Oh and one more thing, Mr. Greene has some outstanding legal troubles as well regarding disseminating pornography..sounds like South Carolina Senate material to me.

As if the Obama and the Democratic party did not have enough trouble to deal with, now they have some wack job one step away from being a Senator. State Democratic party officials are already lining up and asking Mr. Greene to step down , including senior white house adviser David Axelrod who on “Meet The Press” yesterday described Greene as “not being a legitimate candidate”

Now I wish Mr. Greene was more like Eddie Murphy in the classic yet under-rated film “The Distinguished Gentleman” , where Murphy a talented con-artist gets elected to the house of representatives , but after hearing this genius speak on CNN last night, I would be surprised if he could spell his own name.

But you know what , I say let the guy run. Maybe this is exactly what the country and the state of South Carolina needs, an inexperienced unemployed guy who lives with his dad and likes porn…he cant be any worse that the crew of geniuses running the Congress now!

This story probably has some legs to it and if nothing else will add some much-needed comedy to the scary political landscape this is the USA in 2010.

VOTE GREENE!!!!!!!!!

The Supreme Court!! “New York City Represent-Represent”

Posted in History, New York City, New York Yankees, NY Times, Politics with tags , , , , , on May 12, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

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NEW YORK CITY REPRESENT!!!

Manhattan, Brooklyn , Queens and The Bronx

Great article in the NY Times about a funny little potential  factoid that will become an actual fact assuming President Obama’s’ Supreme Court Justice Nominee Elena Kagan gets confirmed by the Senate. Check this out…

Four out of the nine seats on our lands highest court will be occupied by home-grown New Yorkers, 4 of the 5 boroughs will be repped.  Elena Kagan is from the UPPER WEST SIDE..she must be confirmed.

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We really do run shit don’t we?  Only Staten Island will be not repped on the court, but I am sure Meth , The RZA , Raekwon , and the rest of the WU TANG CLAN will continue to hold down that borough.

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor has described herself as a Nuyorican who grew up in the Bronxdale Houses and later in Co-op City, where the talk of the neighborhood was that her mother had bought an Encyclopaedia Britannica. She was the valedictorian of the class of 1972 at Cardinal Spellman High School and became a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office after attending Princeton and law school at Yale.

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn; her father owned small clothing stores, and she was an editor of the newspaper at James Madison High School.

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Justice Scalia grew up in Elmhurst, in what he once called “a really mishmash sort of New York,” with Germans, Irish and Puerto Ricans. He went to Public School 13, where he got straight A’s, and Xavier, the Jesuit school in Manhattan, where he was first in his class and was in the military program.

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UPPER WEST SIDE!!!!!

And then there is Ms. Kagan, whose father was a community board leader on the Upper West Side and who attended the prestigious Hunter College High School, Princeton and Harvard Law, later becoming its dean.

From the looks of it Ms. Kagan has a very  decent shot of going through the grueling confirmation process and coming out the other side a member of The Supreme Court…you know us New Yorkers rise to the occasion.

I mean I know we talk about Jay Z, Biggie, Jeter, The Yankees…but wow…the Supreme Court!

Upper West Side Baby!!!

The President Greets the Yanks…Obama gives Props where Props are Due!!!

Posted in Baseball, ESPN, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, Politics, YouTube Classics with tags , , , , , , , on April 26, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

The Pres and the Skipper

I love America and I love being an American. I am blown away by the achievments of these great men. How a group of rebels could create a country and a system of government that more than two hundred years later still embodies the hopes and dreams of all people from all over the world, that is pretty incredible.

But what is more incredible is too see the leader of the free world honor the GREATEST BASEBALL FRANCHISE ever. It is just like the big cherry on top of all our American freedom.

When you see Joe Girardi standing behind the Presidential Podium, with the Presidential seal in full view,  addressing a room full of reporters in the White House and President Obama standing not behind his presidential podium but rather next to the podium,  so HE could be addressed by the Yankee skipper…you know its a damn good day!!!

Obama and Girardi…27 Titles Deep!!

Obama said it has often been painful to watch Mariano Rivera and the Yankees win titles.

“For a White Sox fan like me, its painful to watch Mariano’s cutter. … Although, I do remember 2005, so don’t get too comfortable,” said Obama, referring to the White Sox’s World Series title five years ago.

Obama added that “nothing beats that Yankee tradition” as the large crowd gathered in the room applauded.

Obama gives Jeter a shout out!

During the event, Obama praised Jeter, saying the shortstop “epitomizes the best of the Yankees tradition.”

President Obama greeted the World Champs this afternoon with some pretty funny soundbites, I cant imagine what it feels like to be Derek  or Mariano and getting great shout outs from the Prez…that is just so damn cool.

Full Video Forth Coming.

Yankees at the White House!!

Posted in Baseball, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, NY Times, NYC, Politics with tags , , , , , , on April 24, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

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Winning the World Series is the pinnacle of sports achievements , and when you take that crown you get showered with endless praise in the media, if you win in NY you get a ticker tape parade down the canyon of heroes and the keys to the greatest city on the planet. You get huge rings so you can always remember your triumph . And of course you get the unconditional love from the fans.

But perhaps one of the coolest benefits of winning the WORLD SERIES is a trip to the White House, where the President of our great nation greets the best team in the world at the most powerful address in the universe. The New York Times has a great article about the history of this great tradition.

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To put the Yankee greatness in perspective, When Andy Pettitte swings by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this monday, he will be meeting his fourth President of The United States. Very few people can say they have ever even had the good fortune to see a sitting President in person, let alone be greeted by one in the Rose Garden.

In 1999, the Yankees met President Bill Clinton at the White House to commemorate their victory the previous season.

As Clinton and George Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ principal owner, entered the South Lawn, the band struck up “Hail to the Chief.” Clinton turned to Steinbrenner and said, “Don’t get any ideas, it’s not for you.”

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I am sure the BOSS did not agree with President Clinton….lol

Membership has its privileges!!

“GAME CHANGE” Read this book!

Posted in Books, Politics, Print Media with tags , , on March 22, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

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The timing is interesting, but on the very same day that Congress passed sweeping health care reform, I completed “Game Change” which is a wonderful roadmap of the Obama journey and how we got where we are today.

There is a reason that John Heilemann & Mark Halperin’s book “Game Change” is on the best-seller list, these two Washington journalists have delivered a page turning behind the scenes look at the historic adventure that was the Presidential campaign of 2008.

Now I can certainly not predict the future, but I am something of a student of the past, with a passion for Presidential history,  So one does not have to go out on limb by saying America had never quite seen an election with so many huge stories and even larger implications for our country and the world. I am certain we will never see more a contested and fascinating Primary season as we  saw with President Obama & Secretary Clinton. An african american and woman battling for a year and half in what must already be the stuff of political legend. And if the rise of Obama and the fall and eventual resurrection of Hilary Clinton is not enough you had the truly meteoric rise of the one and only Sarah Palin , who was plucked from complete obscurity to become a rock star and massive liability to the Republican ticket all in the course of 4 weeks.

This book tells the whole tale, and really sheds light on the fascinating  operations of Presidential campaigns. The authors were very smart because in this age of instant gratification, they wrote a very comprehensive and thorough history of what will surely be one of the most studied presidential campaigns and we are only one year into the presidency. Considering the depth of this book, its pretty remarkable they were able to release it so quickly.

Even if you don’t fall under the political junkie title, this book is a great read, and quite frankly a lot of it does read like fiction because let’s be honest, John Edwards is in this book and anything to do with Edwards borders on fiction..(maybe even science fiction)

There is some jaw dropping information on the selection process or lack therefore by the McCain campaign with their selection of Palin as a running mate, it is clear the nation dodged a bullet because that woman was barely qualified to be mayor of a small forest town in Alaska let alone to be next in line for the highest office of our land.

“Game Change” is fun and wildly informative, the insider perspective from Heileman & Halperin is second to none.

Read this book!